Should we have New Year's Resolutions?
For many, January marks the start of something new, the chance to become something better which often results in a resolution being made as the clock strikes twelve. We wake up on January first with great ambition, excited by a new month and a new year to resolve to become a new and improved you. Something that the local gyms thrive on. While our intentions are good, usually by the first week in February we have lost interest, gotten discouraged, or are simply too busy doing other things and have forgotten our resolutions.
This experience, yes, I too have made several resolutions only to have them fizzle out in a few weeks or maybe a month, leaves me wondering if it is even worth making a resolution. What is the purpose of resolving to do something if we will only quit? As often the case, it made me curious, so I decided to look up the definition of the word, "resolve" which is:
"a firm decision to do or not to do something."
As I read this definition my mind went to the hymn, “I am Resolved”, here are the three stanzas:
I am resolved No longer to linger charmed by the world's delight
Things that are higher Things that are nobler These have allured my sight.
I am resolved To go to the savior Leaving my sin and strife
He is the true one He is the just one He has the words of life.
I am resolved To follow my savior Faithful and true each day
Heed what he sayeth Do what he willeth He is the living way
Should we have a New Years resolution?
I believe new years resolutions are a good thing but the reason behind it is what really matters. What is our goal when we set a resolution?
So what should our resolutions look like? I believe we can gain some insight by going back to those lyrics of that old hymn. They are powerful lines that challenge us in almost every area. I want to use them as a suggestion for some new year resolutions.
Three New Year's Resolutions1. I am resolved - I have made a firm decision to - no longer linger, charmed by the world’s delight. Think about that for a moment. When we are charmed by something, it has captured our attention, we are enamoured by it. Satan does his best to make the world a charming, captivating place, he wants us to stay focused on it, to linger. An unproductive Christian is exactly what Satan wants. We must be resolved to leave the world behind us, to press toward the mark, to set our mind on things above, things that are higher, nobler, to let them allure our sight. Allure means to powerfully attract, the things of God should be our only attraction. It should capture our sight completely and be our sole focus.
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3
2. I am resolved - I have made the firm decision to - go to the Savior, to be in His presence. What a privilege it is for us to come boldly to His throne, to make our requests known, to share all our fears and cares, to lay them all at His feet and be assured that He hears and sees them all. We can go the Savior and received everything we need to face the day, overcome every temptation, and be refreshed. But to go to something means we leave something else, we leave our sin and our strife. Neither of these can abide in the presence of our Savior. How do we conquer our sin? We go to the Savior, we spend time with Him in His word, stilling our soul so that we can know Him. He who is the true One, He who is the just One, and He who has the words of life.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16
3. I am resolved - I have made the firm decision to - follow the Savior. For those who use Instagram, you know what a follower is, it how you stay connected with someone and learn about their daily life. Can we say that we follow the Savior in the same way? Do we want to stay connected to Him, to know more about Him and what He values, likes, dislikes, brings Him pleasure? To follow someone means you pay close attention to them, are we paying close attention to our Savior? The One who is our example for everything? It is also important to remember that we are being watched by others, especially those younger than us, they are paying attention to the things we say and do.
In 1 Corinthians 11:1 Paul tells the believers:
Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
Paul understood the importance of being a follower of Christ because it is the only way we can be a positive influence on those who may be following us. The choices we make matter, especially when it comes to the things we pursue or follow.
The remaining words of the final stanza give us insight into how we are to do this. Faithful and true each day. Heed what He sayeth, do what He willeth, He is the living way. We follow Christ today, right now, each day we need to follow Him, paying attention to the things He whispers to our hearts and meditate on His written words. Don’t worry about what you will do tomorrow, today is right now, this moment when we must heed what He sayeth, do what He willieth, why? Because He is the living way, the way that leads to eternal life.
Will you make a firm decision?
Should we make a new year’s resolution? My answer is yes, but I believe it should not just be ones that are about making ourselves physically better though they are worthy goals. We should make it our main goal, our firm decision, to seek to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is important that we resolve to become more like Christ, choosing to remove all the weights that would easily beset us, to firmly decide to spend that essential time alone in God’s word, saturating our hearts and minds so that our focus remains solely on Him.
As we prepare to welcome a new year, can I challenge you to set aside some time over the next few days to write down some resolutions for yourself, some firm decisions? Maybe it is choosing a word that describes what you want to cultivate in your life like meditation or memorization. Maybe it is resolving to get up 30 minutes earlier each day to read God’s Word and journal a few thoughts. Maybe it is firmly deciding to limit your time on social media or even take a step away from it for the month of January using that time to memorize some scripture instead?
Our life is short, it is but a vapor, we are not promised tomorrow, we only have today to prepare for eternity. May we be a people resolved, having made a firm decision to no longer linger in this fleeting world, charmed by its temporary and empty delights, resolved to pursue and follow our Savior, the One who is the way, the truth, and the life.
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I am just an ordinary girl who is loved by an extraordinary God and I seek to love others the same way. I love to bake, read, do puzzles, watch Hallmark movies, and go shopping with my mom! This blog was created as a place where I could share some thoughts that the Lord has shown me and to be an encouragement to others who desire to know Him in a deeper way. My prayer is to learn to sit still and trust God with my future.