Five New Year’s resolutions you’ll actually want to keep
Make a commitment to grow in your walk with God in 2017.
Every year, without fail, I make New Year’s resolutions. Normally, I make 10. And how many do I keep?
I think my problem isn’t that I make resolutions I can’t keep, but that I make ones I don’t want to keep. I don’t want to exercise every day! I don’t want to quit eating pasta every second meal! Obviously I should do these things even though I don’t want to, but I also want to include some resolutions that I should and I WANT to keep.
So here are five New Year’s resolutions that, if you’re a Christian and want to grow with God in 2017, you’ll actually want to keep.
Read the Bible more and pray more
2 Timothy 3:16-17 reads, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” What better way to grow with God than to regularly read his word? Resolve in 2017 to read the Bible more than you did in 2016. Maybe that will mean reading once a week! Maybe that will mean reading twice day. But more Bible is always a good thing. Also, God promises to listen to our prayers, and prayer is powerful! So why don’t we pray more? Consider starting a prayer journal to help you commit to praying more consistently, or form a prayer group with your closest Christian friends.
Love others more
The second greatest commandment is to love others as much as you love yourself. Commit in 2017 to loving your friends, family, strangers and enemies more, and displaying that love in sacrificial actions, kind words and generous gifts. It may be hard to love others sometimes, but all of us want healthy, happy relationships and we as Christians have an extra reason to love others - to show the love of Christ to them.
Worship can be difficult. If you’re shy or don’t like music, the way Christians traditionally worship may be hard for you. So why not use your own unique creative gifts to worship God? Paint, draw, write, sing, compose, decorate, travel through nature or just do anything that helps you to express praise to God. Choose to use 2017 to find a way to worship God regularly, and stick to it.
Learn more about God and faith
Loving God doesn’t mean just sitting back and staring adoringly at the sky! It means pursuing him and knowing him intimately. One of the best ways you can do that is by learning more about him, and about faith and about how your faith interacts with the world. Get your hands on some Christian books - just a few - and choose to read them in 2017. Or if books aren’t your thing, try listening to podcasts or sermons, or watch YouTube videos! Educate yourself about God and watch your relationship deepen as you know him more.
Remember grace more
Grace is the cornerstone of our faith. Without God’s gracious forgiveness of our sin, our relationship with him would be in tatters, and there would be no eternity to look forward to at the end of our days! So in 2017, commit to remembering grace more. How do you do this? By confessing sins. Every time you confess your failure to God, you get to experience his grace. This doesn’t mean we should sin lots to experience grace more! But when we do fail, we can fall onto grace and experience Christ’s sacrifice anew. And when we aren’t struggling with sin, we can remember the freedom that grace brings, and the wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit which helps us to become more like Jesus every day.
Happy New Year! May God bless your 2017.