What Does the Bible Say About Making a New Year’s Resolution?

Celebrating New Year’s started in March around 2000 B.C. with the ancient Babylonians. The planting of crops symbolized new life and new opportunities. The Romans first used Jan 1st as the beginning of the year in 153 B.C. The date was unusual because it had no agricultural or seasonal significance. Julius Caesar wanted to change the date, but Jan 1st of 45 B.C. was the date of a new moon. And it would have been bad luck to change it. Wikipedia’s definition of New Year’s Resolution says; “A New Year’s Resolution is a commitment that an individual makes to a project or the reforming of a habit, often a lifestyle change that is generally interpreted as advantageous.” The top ten most popular resolutions are: 1) Spend more time with family and friends. 2) To get more fit with regular exercise. 3) Lose weight. 4) Quit smoking. 5) Enjoy life more. 6) Quit drinking. 7) Get out of debt. 8) Learn something new. 9) Help others more. 10) Get organized. These resolutions that we promise to commit to every year are supposed to give us more fulfilled lives. We are supposed to feel better about ourselves and our loved ones and do better. There is something about the start of a New Year that gives us the feeling of a fresh start and a new beginning. But there is no difference between Dec 31st and Jan 1st. Nothing magical changes us at midnight on Dec 31st. It is good to want to rededicate our lives for the better, but what does the bible say about making a New Year’s Resolution?

The Bible does not speak for or against making a resolution. But if we as Christians make a resolution, what kind of resolution should we make? The top ten most popular resolutions are mostly in relation to physical things. Many Christian resolutions may be to pray more, read the bible more or attend church on a regular basis. There is nothing wrong with these goals. But if there is no power in your resolution, these goals will not last, just like the physical ones. Philippians 4:13 tells us, “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” If God is the center of our New Year’s Resolutions, it has a chance for success. John 15:4 says, ” 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.” If our resolution is in agreement with God’s will, then he will enable us to do it, but if not, then we won’t receive help when needed. We must pray before we make our resolutions. Pray to the Lord for wisdom. Pray that God will give us strength to complete our goals. Don’t allow failures to stop us, stay motivated. And remember to give God all the glory. For Proverbs 19:8 says, “He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; he who cherishes understanding prospers.” A new year shouldn’t necessarily mean a new resolution. If we put God first in our lives and seek his will, then every day will be a “new day” with Christ.

By Wanda Ball

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