Are New Year’s Resolutions 'Christian'?
Short answer: no
Long answer: kinda
See, "kinda" has three more letters than "no."
Ok, but for real, New Year’s Resolutions have seemed to be popular since the beginning of time; it must have started with Adam and Eve or maybe Abraham?
Close, the ancient Babylonians were thought to be the forerunners for New Year’s Resolutions some 4,000 years ago. They'd celebrate the New Year in March after planting the year’s crops and rededicate themselves to their gods and promise to do the right things. You know the drill… Later, John Wesley would establish the idea of a Covenant Renewal Service to start the New Year by refocusing and rededicating oneself to God.
After a service, Wesley remarked,
“I do not know that ever we had a greater blessing. Afterwards many desired to return thanks, either for a sense of pardon, for full salvation, or for a fresh manifestation of His graces, healing all their backslidings" (January 1, 1775)”
But, covenant renewal is different than a New Year’s Resolution. Our modern resolutions focus on ourselves, our goals, our weight, our success. Wesley and even the Babylonians used the New Year to focus on pleasing God/gods over themselves and their desires. Instead of setting a resolution to lose ten pounds, use this time to set your heart on the Creator and tighten your walk with Him. When the vast majority of people have tossed their resolution list in the trash or just totally forgot about it, you’ll still be growing into the person God sees you as. His ways are much higher than ours anyway.
And if you still really want to write down some special resolutions, grab a pen, paper, and Bible. I'll help get you started:
“Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, mind, and strength,” Deut. 6:5
“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isa. 41:10
“You are not your own; you were bought with a price, therefore glorify God with your bodies” 1 Cor. 6:20
“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Col. 3:2
“Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psa. 37:4
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matt. 6:33
"Love your neighbor as yourself" Matt. 22:39
Let your 'resolutions' guide your heart and life closer to God each day of this New Year.
Wesley had a special prayer which was recorded during his Covenant Renewal Service, take a moment to read and reflect on his words:
 Sarah Pruitt, “The History of New Year's Resolutions,” History.com, December 30, 2015, accessed December 29, 2017, http://www.history.com/news/the-history-of-new-years-resolutions.
John Wesley, “Wesley's Covenant Renewal Service," accessed December 29, 2017, https://www.sermoncentral.com/sermons/wesleys-covenant-renewal-service-greg-buchner-sermon-on-christian-disciplines-64795?page=2.
Leave a Reply.
is a writer & tired homeschooling mom of five.