I love that New Year comes so quickly after Christmas. Just after we celebrate the birth of our Savior who came to die for our sins, we’re on the cusp of a brand new year—a brand new beginning. Because I now live in Christ, I embrace the hope associated with New Year.
I’m sure I am not the only one determined to do a little better and grow a little wiser in the next 12 months. Allow me to ask a few questions and share a few of my own New Year resolutions.
Firstly, do our New Year resolutions address root causes? We may make a resolution to work out three times a week, but if we are not ready to re-evaluate our approach to life, we would still be eating fast food all the time. We need more than just a new habit in 2015; each of us needs some sort of change in attitude as well. Do our resolutions address this need? One of my resolutions this year aims to address the latter. At the end of each day, I want to look back and pick one thing to be thankful for. Of course, I can be thankful for many things. But let us start simple. I will focus on one thing a day, and praise God for it.
Secondly, do our New Year resolutions focus on ourselves, or are we looking outward as well? Is my New Year resolution all about me? I will work out. I aim to get better grades. I will keep a diary. Do any of these impact those around us? While thinking about this, I made a New Year resolution to make a new friend in church. This should be simple, right? Perhaps, but I want to go beyond knowing their name and occupation. I am going to approach someone I do not know very well, and over the next 12 months, learn to care for them as a brother or sister in Christ. I want to one day be given the honor of participating in their life—sharing in their joys and griefs—and seeing what God will do in and through them. I don’t know who I will befriend yet, and frankly, I have no idea how this attempt will ultimately play out, which brings me to my third and final point.
Last but not least, have you given your resolutions to God? Did you pray about them? Do you expect God to be involved and working in your life through these resolutions? I realize that all too often, I will make a major decision (such as how to spend my next 12 months) without consulting God. My resolution in response to this is to learn to pray, constantly. Throughout the day I already pray often, from the longer prayers before bed to a quick “Thank you God!” when I see the blue sky. But we are told to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). I want to be in continuous conversation with God, as if He were in the same room as I am, which He really is. I want to invite Him into everything I do, great or small, and learn to see His work in my life. I surrender my resolutions to Him, and I know He will do great things this year. I am excited to see how God will change me through my attempts, and what work He will do through His humble servant.
So there’s my three resolutions for the year. What are yours?