When I was a young’un–back when the Grand Canyon was being formed–it seemed that New Year’s resolutions were more popular than they are now. Though people talked about them and scribbled out lists, I’m sure they broke their resolutions with the same frequency as they do today. A 2007 study revealed that 88% of those who set New Year’s resolutions fail, though over half are confident that they will keep them. As one wag said, “The new year gives us a fresh start on the same bad habits.”
I enjoy making New Year’s resolutions. They get me charged up and looking out of my rut. I even save them in a computer file so I can have a good laugh when I come across them a few months later. “What was I thinking in December? I’m not going to have abs of steel by mid-year.”
So why bother making resolutions? Nona Jordan, known as the “business yogini” among female entrepreneurs, believes it has to do with faith in the future. Jordan says, “The fact that people keep making resolutions even when they don’t always follow through ultimately means that they have hope and a certain level of belief in their ability to change and be more of who they really want to be.”
You won’t find “New Year’s Resolution” in a concordance, but the notion of making vows and covenants and promises is very biblical. The scriptures talk a lot about starting afresh:
“So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away – look, what is new has come!” (II Cor 5:17 NET)
“Repent and turn back so that your sins may be wiped out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord…” (Acts 3:19-20 NET)
“Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.” (Is 43:18 KJV)
“Forgetting the things that are behind and reaching out for the things that are ahead, with this goal in mind, I strive toward the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 3:13-14 NET)
“And the one seated on the throne said: Look! I am making all things new!” (Rev 21:5 NET)
I guess I like to make New Year’s resolutions because I know that God offers second chances…and third chances…and more chances than we could ever track. Resolutions are rooted in hope, and hope is a gift from heaven. “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in him, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Rom 15:13 NET)
So go ahead and confidently make those New Year’s resolutions! And if you get those abs of steel by July, let me know your secret.
Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.