As we finally have closed 2020, many people will be spending time writing some new years resolutions with the hopes to lose weight, quit smoking, begin a more healthier lifestyle… But today’s question is, whether or not New Years resolutions are helpful or hurtful. According to research done by Time Magazine shows that 78% of resolution makers will break their resolutions within the first month. The rationale for the question is based around the idea, that since so many are not keeping them anyways, do resolutions set a person up for failure, thus not being helpful to the person.
My quick answer is this, If resolutions are based solely on human willpower to overcome something or to start something new, then it could be hurtful. 1 Peter 4:11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Resolutions are good if the intent behind them is to glorify God with the strength He provides.
Right at the heart of resolutions is to resolve in our heart to do something we are not doing or to stop doing something that we are doing. To be irresolute means to be indecisive. Its not good for us to be indecisive, especially if it pertains to the areas of bringing glory to God. In Joshua 24:15, Joshua tells the people to Choose this day who you will serve… but as for me in my house I will (have resolved to) serve the Lord. This was a resolve that wasn’t going to be dependent solely on his human will power.
There is a great verse in 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12, that I believe sums up the theology of resolutions. “To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, 12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” What this scripture shows us is 5 things that are at the heart of making resolutions.
1. Resolve for Good.
2. A Resolution is pursued by faith.
3. God acts through that faith
4. God fulfills the good resolve
5. Christ gets the glory.
So this year as you make your resolutions set them through this criteria. ask yourself, “am I trying to achieve this out of my own human will power, or am I making this resolve to glorify God through my changed behaviors?” I believe that when we test those motives we will see the better result.