The practice of making New Yearâ€™s resolutions goes back over 3,000 years to the ancient Babylonians. There is just something about the start of a new year that gives us the feeling of a fresh start and a new beginning.
In reality, there is no difference between December 31 and January 1. Nothing mystical occurs at midnight on December 31. The Bible does not speak for or against the concept of New Yearâ€™s resolutions. However, if a Christian determines to make a New Yearâ€™s resolution, what kind of resolution should he or she make?
Common New Yearâ€™s resolutions
Common New Yearâ€™s resolutions are commitments to quit smoking, to stop drinking, to manage money more wisely, and to spend more time with family. By far, the most common New Yearâ€™s resolution is to lose weight, in conjunction with exercising more and eating more healthily. These are all good goals to set.
However, 1 Timothy 4:8 instructs us to keep exercise in perspective: â€œFor 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.â€ The vast majority of New Yearâ€™s resolutions, even among Christians, are in relation to physical things. This should not be.
Do you have the properÂ motivation?
Many Christians make New Yearâ€™s resolutions to pray more, to read the Bible every day, and to attend church more regularly. These are fantastic goals. However, these New Yearâ€™s resolutions fail just as often as the non-spiritual resolutions, because there is no power in a New Yearâ€™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?
Philippians 4:13 tells us, â€œI can do everything through Him who gives me strength.â€ John 15:5 declares, â€œI 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.â€
If God is the center of your New Yearâ€™s resolution, it has chance for success, depending on your commitment to it. If it is Godâ€™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 in Godâ€™s Word, we will not receive Godâ€™s help in fulfilling the resolution.
RecommendedÂ New Year Resolutions for Christians
1. Pray to the Lord for wisdom in regards to 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 Godâ€™s strength to help you;
4. Find an accountability partner who will help you and encourage you;
5. Donâ€™t become discouraged with occasional failures; instead, allow them to motivate you further;
6. Donâ€™t become proud or vain, but give God the glory.
Psalm 37:5-6 says, â€œCommit 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.â€