Friday, December 31, 2010
2011 New Year's Resolutions
As a pastor, I do get asked a lot of questions; some are very private and way too personal to answer here in this public forum. But, this one about New Year’s Resolutions is one that I am sure more than just a few would like to know about. No, this is not an in-depth study on the subject but surely, as I see it, it’s a good answer and hopefully one that will help you to find your own answer in what I’ve written here. God Bless You as you read on…2 Timothy 2:15.
The observance of making New Year’s Resolutions is nothing new, as I read I’ve found out that the exercise started a long time ago, probably in Ancient Babylon, between 3,000 and 4,000 years ago. In early writings it seems that there were people, even way back then, that were interested in making brand new starts, looking for unspoiled beginnings and seeking modification for their lives. I guess that today we are very similar to the primitive Babylonians, generally we are not very happy with our lives and we come to January 1, looking for something better for ourselves.
As I see it, there is nothing fairylike, numinous or eerie about the time between December 31 and January 1. But, it seems that many, many people feel that there is. First off, everyone should know that the Word of God does not condemn making New Year’s Resolutions. In fact, it’s probably just fine for us to do that. But, why wait until January 1 to break old and bad habits and start new and better ones? You can do that any day of the year; after all, they are all the same, Romans 14:5. You could pick an anniversary, a birthday, a different holiday or any other day of the week to start changes in your life. The power to change comes from God and not from a date on the calendar. Setting goals for ourselves and the seeking and keeping them is good any day of the year.
The majority of our New Year’s Resolutions are often involved with physical things, like getting skinny, trying to stop drinking alcohol or to quit smoking cigars, cigarettes and/or marijuana, etc. Very few of our resolutions involve getting closer to God, studying His Word daily or going to church more often: Almost never. We must remember that even though physical things are important they are not all important, 1 Timothy 4:8. God places much more importance on spiritual things than we do, sad but true. Most of us seem to have self-improvement goals not related to godly things.
However, there are some believers that do ask God for a desire to read more, study more and to attend church more often, but that is odd and infrequent. Yet, I must tell you that almost all New Year’s Resolutions do fail, sooner than later, you know why? Even though we might have fantastic goals, there is no magic that happens between the end of December and the beginning of January, there just isn’t.
Start doing what you need to do today, don’t wait and don’t be late, get to it, right now. Philippians 4:13, does tell us that we can do all things through Jesus, He gives us the strength. If you make Jesus the center of your New Year’s Resolutions, your chance of keeping a resolution is very good. But don’t forget, if you’ve included God in your plans, He plans to be there to help you be successful.