Resolution or Renewal?
It’s a new year and a new you. Or is it? Should it be? The diet plans and fitness centers’ promises are everywhere on social media platforms and television. They attempt to sway people to buy their tools for the “new you.” In addition, many may look inward and feel somewhat lacking or inadequate to set New Year’s resolutions. Should the Christian be made to feel like changes are needed?
In 2022, Lifeway Research reported the top resolution categories. 44% listed health concerns as their first resolution. Relationship with God was 29%, followed by an equal 29% dealing with personal finances. 26% of resolutions involved a relationship with a family member and below these were work concerns, use of time and friendships. Young adults make the most resolutions and the older people get, the fewer the resolutions which are made.[i] We all know that within 30-60 days, most resolutions have been forgotten or abandoned.
Are resolutions really for the Christian? I Corinthians 6:19 encourages the Christian to treat their bodies as the temple of the Holy Spirit. “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.” (NIV). The verse indicates a two-part charge for the Christian. The first is to recognize the body as the temple in which the Holy Spirit resides and second that the body is not ours. There is an implied responsibility for the Christian to always treat their body with respect and care.
In the category of finances, the Bible has direction as well. “Keep your lives from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5 NIV) Proverbs 23:4 comforts the Christian with the exclamation to “…not wear yourself out to get rich…” and Proverbs 16:16 “how much better to get wisdom than gold…”
Relationships with people are a high priority and should always be at the front of people’s thoughts. Stressful holidays can cause additional conflicts and many may need a new resolve to heal hurts and get along with others on a more successful level. Ephesians 5:33 implores husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church. Luke 6:31 reminds us to treat others as we would like to be treated. I Corinthians 13:4-5 remind us that love is patient, love is kind. It does not boast or dishonor others. It is not self-seeking. Practicing what it says goes a long way toward healing and sustaining relationships.
The debate continues. Should the Christian remain in a state of renewal and “Christ-likeness,” negating a reason for New Year’s resolutions or is the yearly practice a practical way to take an inventory of where a person is in his walk with Christ? You be the judge.
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