By the time you read this, we will already be at least nine days into 2013! Did you make any resolution(s) for 2013? Did you know that of 23.1 million people responding, it was discovered that one-third of all resolutions are abandoned by the end of January and 80 per cent of them never make it to the end of the year?
Have you wondered why it is so difficult to keep a resolution? One reason may be that they aren’t very realistic … they are too lofty and unattainable. Some are probably made on a whim or in a moment of emotional inspiration without any definitive plan for reaching them. As such, they are actually superficial wishes rather than steadfast decisions.
Because of the foregoing, there are many who have simply given up and said they will no longer make any resolutions. In addition, a few of my favourite Bible study WebPages have suggested that resolutions are not a good idea.
I politely disagree.
I am not stuck on the word resolution; in fact, I prefer projections, or goals. However, in my view, some projection into the new year with the intent of stretching and improving oneself, along with a workable plan for accomplishing this, is not only a good idea, but essential to growing as a person. And it is consequential in that it affords us the opportunity of living a new year instead of living the same year over and over again. As someone said, “The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it.”
The Bible doesn’t mention making resolutions at the beginning of a new year, but it does teach about vows, promises and commitment and admonishes believers to examine their lives regularly. The Bible states, “Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.” (Lamentations 3:40)
For the believer, of course, it is imperative to remember that our resolutions and/or goals should not be set by selfish ambitions, but for God’s glory (1 Corinthians 10:31) … and they will not be achieved in our own strength. The psalmist wrote, “My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:2)
The best way to determine our plans is to ask God to reveal what He wants to do in our lives this year. Faith, after all, is not knowing what the future holds, as much as it is knowing Who holds the future. Talk with Him … His plans may surprise you!
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “… to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Happy belated New Year’s wishes to you and yours!
Pastor Ross Helgeton is senior pastor at Erskine Evangelical Free Church.