Should a Christian make New Years resolutions?

Some feel that this is a secular idea, and so Christians should not get involved. Others point to the fact that most resolutions are never kept, so they should not be made. Still others feel it is a good thing for Christians to do some soul searching and resolve to do some things differently.

While the idea may have secular origins, it may have some merit for the Christian. And it is probably true that many resolutions are short lived, but still the idea can be used for good in a Christian’s life. It is good, at times, to look honestly at our lives and determine to change some of the things that need changing. There is nothing mystical about doing this on New Year’s Eve, but it does provide such an opportunity.

It may be a good time to start daily Bible reading. It may be true that you have tried that before with little success. That should give you more determination to finish the job this year. It could be a time to rid yourself of a harmful habit that has been a part of your life for some time. It may be a time to resolve to be the loving Christian that you have often wished you were. Perhaps it could be a time for a family to get together and make some goals for the New Year.

There are some instances in the Bible of people taking stock of their lives and determining or resolving to do better. Paul told the Corinthians, in 2 Corinthians 8:10, that they should be “resolved or purposed” to be ahead of where they were a year before. This would involve measuring where they were last year at this time, and be sure that they have made progress during the ensuing twelve months. There is no indication that Paul told them to do that at the beginning of a new calendar year, but he at least referred to the year as a unit.

In Genesis 28:20, Jacob made a resolution or a vow to give consistently and routinely to the Lord, specifying ten percent as his commitment. It may be that you ought to start giving to God regularly in the New Year.

There are some who fear making any kind of commitment to Christian living, considering such to be a vow to the Lord. They cite Ecclesiastes 5:4,5: “When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.” Perhaps the advice given by our Lord in James 4:13-15 would be wise to follow. Ask God to guide you in setting your goals and help you keep the resolutions you make.

Yes, it is possible that you will not keep the commitment throughout the entire year, but if you do not make a resolution, how much less will you accomplish? Pray about it and ask God what He would have you do and ask His help in both making the resolution and keeping it.

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