Is it right to make New Year's resolutions? I think I belong to the last generation that saw men tip their hats to women on the street-and the last that took the custom of New Year's resolutions seriously.
That was when the world was so new and all. Now the world is old and weary, and we promised ourselves for so many Januaries in a row that we would lose 10 pounds that we have just given up.
Some of us don't make resolutions because it seems vaguely unbiblical. So just to be on the safe side, we avoid the whole subject and opt to do nothing at all.
But my mind wanders to the great saints of old, and words that came out of their mouths that sounded like dead ringers for resolutions:
"Now therefore fear the LORD and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served. … But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD" (Joshua 24:14-15, italics mine)
"I have sworn an oath and confirmed it, to keep your righteous rules" (Psalm 119:106).
In fact, not only does the psalmist make a resolution to keep God's ways, there is evidence that he actually carries out his resolution:
"Your testimonies are wonderful; therefore my soul keeps them" (Psalm 119:129).
Job made a covenant with his eyes not to look at women lustfully (Job 31:1). A psalmist made this commitment: "I will sing to the LORD as long as I live" (Psalm 104:33). Another man gives up marriage prospects because he has "his desire under control, and has determined this in his heart" (1 Corinthians 7:37). Moses made a resolution to not be called the son of the Pharaoh's daughter but to hitch his destiny to those who suffer for God rather than those who live for this world's pleasures (Hebrews 11:24-25).
It's all about choices, isn't it? And by the power of the God who has chosen to make us his living tabernacles, all things are possible for us in Christ-even victory over hitherto stubborn strongholds. And so …
"… let us lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race set before us …" (Hebrews 12:1).
God is in us and with us. Let us join the cloud of witnesses who have made and kept their resolutions.