Happy New Year everyone and welcome to 2018. A lot of blogs are likely starting their posts with something similar. So, let’s jump right into it.
Have you ever wondered where New Years’ resolutions come from? On History.com, you will find this answer:
The ancient Babylonians are said to have been the first people to make New Year’s resolutions, some 4,000 years ago. They were also the first to hold recorded celebrations in honor of the new year—though for them the year began not in January but in mid-March, when the crops were planted. During a massive 12-day religious festival known as Akitu, the Babylonians crowned a new king or reaffirmed their loyalty to the reigning king. They also made promises to the gods to pay their debts and return any objects they had borrowed. These promises could be considered the forerunners of our New Year’s resolutions. If the Babylonians kept to their word, their (pagan) gods would bestow favor on them for the coming year. If not, they would fall out of the gods’ favor—a place no one wanted to be.
I don’t personally believe in New Years’ resolutions. I think that making this kind of a promise to one’s self is a little silly. If you are going to do something, why ‘resolve’ at the beginning of the year to do it, why not just do it? Why make a production of it?
While many, maybe even most, people think that there is something special about the start of a new year, that in some way it implies a ‘fresh start’, it does no such thing. It is the start of another cycle around the sun. The only people that this should have any kind of mystical meaning for are the unsaved, those who believe that their fates are ruled by the stars and chance.
Christians have a fresh start the moment that they ask Jesus into their lives and every time they sincerely ask forgiveness for sin. It has nothing to do with a date on a calendar.
What does the Bible say about resolutions? Mathew 5:34 gives us one answer:
Matthew 5:34 But I say, do not make any vows! Do not say, 'By heaven!' because heaven is God's throne.
Those were the words of Jesus.
If you make a vow, a resolution, to yourself, what is the point? Saying,” I’m going to walk two miles every day this year!” may be a great idea, but what is the point of making it a promise? What are the consequences if you miss a day or two or ten? Why not just walk and trust God to make sure that you do what is necessary?
Resolutions aren’t typically evil, they merely seem to be a pagan silliness that we’ve hung onto for some reason. If you make a promise, keep your promises, that’s important. But, if you aren’t sure you can, then don’t make the commitment in the first place, that would make you an oath-breaker.
If, after all of this, you still believe that you need to make New Years’ resolutions, try these:
· Resolve to put the order of precedence correct: God, Family, Work.
· Resolve to help eliminate hate and foster love wherever you can.
· Resolve to understand that God doesn’t care who you are or what you’ve done, you are His child, and if you earnestly seek Him, you will find Him.
Have a blessed New Year everyone!