Therefore, this season is also the season we begin looking ahead. To put the past behind us and start fresh. Some of us make New Year’s Resolutions while others of us just call them Good Intentions.
There are many things I want to do. Things I know I should do. Selfless, self-sacrificing things, and it makes me feel good thinking about doing them. But therein lies the problem. There is a difference between thinking about doing something and actually doing it. It reminds me of the semi-colon.
As a former English teacher, I have have always had a deep appreciation for punctuation marks, whose sole purpose is always clarity.
Though the exclamation point is a bit obnoxious, and the comma has a desire to be everywhere even though he doesn’t need to be, the semi-colon has only one primary function––to bring together two complete thoughts that are related and that the writer wants you to read as one thought.
A period means the thought is over and done. We are moving on to another thought. But the semi-colon says, “Hey, see this first thought here? Well, you need to read this next thought to get the whole picture.”
A good intention, like the semi-colon, is the half-way point. We need to keep going. Often this forward movement takes us out of our comfort zone. Often the first step requires us to give up something. Always, it will cost us something––time, money, status, attention––but invariably we will be blessed.
The December 5th devotional in Henry and Richard Blackaby’s Experiencing God said that “Satan is the relentless enemy of good . . . time pressures will attack the good in your life . . . you will be tempted to spend your money selfishly . . . .”
If you have a “good intention” for the new year, something the Holy Spirit has laid on your heart, then do it. He gave you the first part of the sentence. The semi-colon is in place. He will now also give you the power to take that first step to completing the second half.