Do We Need to Make Resolutions? – Pathways to Organization

When did making New Year’s resolutions begin with in the first place?

The practice of making New Year’s resolutions goes back over 3,000 years to the ancient Babylonians and has continued to the present day.

There is just something about the start of a new year that gives us the feeling of a fresh start and a new beginning. But actually, there is no difference between December 31 and January 1. Nothing mystical occurs at midnight on December 31! And the Bible does not speak for or against the concept of New Year’s resolutions. However, if a Christian determines to make a New Year’s resolution, what kind of resolution should he or she make?

The number one resolution made each year is to become healthier as: to lose weight, to exercise more, eat healthier, get more rest, quit smoking, stop drinking. These are all good goals to set. However, 1 Timothy 4:8 instructs us to not over do the exercise:

“For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”

Yes, the vast majority of New Year’s resolutions, even among Christians, are in relation to physical things. But what would be a more important resolution?

I’m sure many of us are thinking a more important resolution would be to read the Bible more and pray more and attend church more. And of course, these are wonderful goals.

However, these New Year’s resolutions fail just as often as the non-spiritual resolutions, because there is no power in a New Year’s resolution. Resolving to start or stop doing a certain activity has no value unless you have the proper motivation for stopping or starting that activity. For example, why do you want to read the Bible every day? Is it to honor God and grow spiritually, or is it because you have just heard that it is a good thing to do? Why do you want to lose weight? Is it to honor God with your body, or is it for vanity, to honor yourself?

If God is the center of your New Year’s resolution, it has chance for success, depending on your commitment to it. If it is God’s will for something to be fulfilled, He will enable you to fulfill it. If a resolution is not God-honoring and/or is not in agreement with God’s Word, we will not receive God’s help in fulfilling the resolution.

So, what sort of New Year’s resolution should a Christian make? Here are some suggestions:

  1. Pray to the Lord for wisdom (James 1:5) regarding what resolutions, if any, He would have you make.
  2. Pray for wisdom as to how to fulfill the goals God gives you.
  3. Rely on God’s strength to help you.
  4. Find an accountability partner who will help you and encourage you.
  5. Don’t become discouraged with occasional failures; instead, allow them to motivate you further.
  6. Don’t become proud or vain but give God the glory. Psalm 37:5-6 says, “Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.”

Manna from Heaven

Philippians 4:13 tells us, “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”

John 15:5 declares, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

My prayer is for all of us to have God as the center of every part of our life as we begin a new year.

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We have re-published this article with permission from the author, Lane Jordan.

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