With the dawn of the 2019 New Year, I’m sure that many thoughts are floating through your mind. Maybe thoughts like….
Will I make a New Year’s Resolution?
Will I keep it?
How will this year be different than the last?
What new habits should I implement?
How can I grow closer to God?
With each year’s end and with each new year’s beginning, I often find myself reflecting. And while self-reflection can be of value, too mush introspection- I would argue- can be a breeding ground for self-defeat. Therefore, I’d advocate for you to reflect-yes- but to reflect on God, and to reflect on Christ.
Even amidst reflecting on goals, dreams, hopes, habits, and desires for this year, we can reflect on God.
We can shape our New Year’s Resolutions into God-Honoring ones.
Without God being the center of our resolutions, are they really worth making? Are they really worth striving for?
Matthew 22:37- Jesus replied: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'“
Colossians 3:23-24- Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
1. Pray for wisdom in areas you need to further submit to christ
Ask God to reveal to you the areas in your life that you have not yet submitted to Him. Pray to our Heavenly Father that He will guide you into His will and will strengthen you in areas where you are weak.
2. Determine if Your Resolution would Bring God Glory
Pray earnestly that the Holy Spirit would convict you if your resolution is a selfish one, or if the end aim of the resolution does not glorify God, serve others in a Christ-like way, or enhance your relationship with Him.
3. Sift down to your motives
When making your New Year’s Resolution, sift down to the core of why you desire to make that change or accomplish that goal.
If it’s weight loss, sift through it. Here’s a hypothetical example of what could be some “sifting” that could unearth worldly motives instead of godly ones:
I desire to lose weight because…
I desire to look good…
I desire to look good so that I can be prettier than so-and-so…
I want to appear prettier than so-and-so because I actually think I am better than her…
I think I am better than her because I desire greater self-worth…
I desire greater self-worth because I don’t actually place my self-worth in God.
Again, here’s another hypothetical “sifting” through a weight loss goal that could unearth true godly motives, instead of worldly ones:
I desire to lose weight because…
I desire to be healthy…
I desire to be healthy so I can take better care of others…
I desire to take care of better care of others so that I can show my family Jesus…
I desire to show my family Jesus so that they will seek Him and allow Him to transform their life, too.
After this sifting process,
4. Frame Your Resolution in a Way That Honors God
Here’s some ways we can frame our New Year’s Resolutions and prepare our hearts, minds, and souls to honor God in 2019.
Because of Christ, I am free to _____________
Although my worth and identity is found in Jesus, I desire to be a better steward of ________
God, help me this year to bring you glory and honor in __________________