Well, it’s that time of the year again when we think about our New Year’s resolutions. I know people have differing opinions about the whole New Year resolution thing. Many consider it to be a waste of time – perhaps because it gets trivialized to things like losing weight, eating healthy and exercising more (all three of which seldom last past the month of January!)
I believe for a Christian, New Year’s resolutions can be godly and helpful. It’s a chance to start over, begin afresh or head in a new direction. It’s a good opportunity to kick some bad habits and put into place good ones. The start of a new year can be a new beginning a lot of us need. For example, I am resolving to read more books and spend less time on the internet. The way I intend to do that is read at least one chapter of a Christian book while I’m drinking my coffee rather than surf the internet (every resolution or goal needs a plan). I am also resolving to save for a missions trip with my wife. We keep saying we want to do it but it never happens. So starting January, we’re putting money aside in a special account. My wife and I are also resolving to give more time to helping parents with teens in our church. We had a hard year last year and know what’s it’s like. We intend doing that by putting aside one evening every two weeks to have a couple over for a meal.
So you can see how beneficial resolutions can be, when there is a godly goal. And other Christian leaders agree. One of my favourite reads in the past week was Your Most Courageous Resolution for 2014 by Jon Bloom, which is to pursue love. What a great and godly resolution! Paul Tripp posted a great article on Trading One Dramatic Resolution for 10,000 Little Ones, which is all about seizing all those little redemptive moments in our day, and seeing them as opportunities for transformation and change – both in your life and in the lives around you. Jonathan Parnell wrote a very encouraging article about looking back over the past year and being assured that you are in fact more Christlike than when the year started because God is making sure of it. You can read that in When You Track Your Spiritual Progress. And then Brad Lomenick offers some very practical help in Questions to Ask for Reviewing 2013 such as “What am I working on that is BIG for 2014 and beyond?” and “How am I preparing for 10 years from now? 20 years from now?” And if you’re thinking of reading through the entire Bible next year (which is a FANTASTIC resolution), make sure you read Justin Taylor’s blog on How to Read the Whole Bible in 2014. He gives some excellent incentives as well as helpful varied options (with links).
So there we have it. Perhaps by now I may have persuaded you to think differently about making resolutions for 2014. Who knows, you might even make one… and keep it.