New year resolutions are common among Christians and non-Christians alike. The concept of New Year’s Resolutions is that you make a series of goals that you want to complete before the end of the year. These goals or “new year resolutions” could be to finish a college degree, purchase your own home, quit tobacco, or a myriad of other things. The question that needs to be addressed is can a Christian make New Year’s Resolutions? Is it biblical?
A Happy New Year
A new year is the perfect time to start new goals. Goals are good for Christians to have. The Lord wants us to do great things with our lives. He does not want us to waste our lives away. He wants us to serve Him with every part of our day, year, and life. New Year’s Resolutions need to be crafted in the acknowledgment of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Since goals are closely related to resolutions, resolutions need to be made with God in mind. Apart from God, we can do nothing (John 15:5). It is futile to make plans, decisions, or resolutions without consulting God. We should never try to “manifest” good things to happen to us in the ensuing year.
Manifestation is not biblical and should not be practiced by Christians. If an individual is trying to “manifest” a new year resolution into being, it is not biblical and should be strongly discouraged. As an example, if a person has the New Year's Resolution that they want to land their dream job, they should not try to manifest this dream to fruition.
Rather than reciting positive mantras, repetition of sayings, or strongly believing your dream will come to fruition by just “believing,” you need to consult God in prayer, pray for Him to open the right doors to your dream job, and asking Him to give you peace if this is not the place where He wants you to be.
Everything that we wish, want, or strive for in our lives will not always come true. God is not a magical genie who will give us whatever we want or ask for. The plan God has for our lives is not rooted in our own desires or aspirations. The plan God has for our lives is rooted in His goodness, love, and mercy (Jeremiah 29:11).
This plan does not always align with our own wants; however, it is always perfect. The love God has for us will never fail and we can trust Him completely. Therefore, it is fine to craft New Year’s Resolutions; however, they should be always made with God in mind.
We have to be intentional about trusting God with the outcome of our resolutions. Not all of our resolutions will be realized during our upcoming year; however, if we choose to intentionally have God’s help, support, and guidance, we will achieve many of our resolutions.
The resolutions we make need to be done with the right heart motives. If one of our resolutions is to lose weight with selfish motives in mind, then our resolution is not a godly resolution. However, if you have the resolution to lose weight in order to be healthy in body, mind, and soul, and you ask God to help you make healthy choices, then it is a good resolution.
We may have many good resolutions that are ethical, proper, and right; however, they may not be answered simply because it is not God’s will for your life. It is perfectly fine to have New Year’s Resolutions, but we should never think of them as being ways we can “manipulate” or “use” God to get what we want.
Resolutions are fine to have as long as there is a right heart motive behind them, and they are done with the focus of God in mind. New Year’s Resolutions should not be done out of selfish motives or desires. If you are setting a goal or a resolution for the upcoming year, make sure it aligns with a pure, humble heart.
God always looks at our motives and we should access our motives as well. A heart with pure motives will bring God glory; however, a heart with sinful motives will only bring a person to ruin. Some good resolutions for the New Year could be trying to work on your relationship with the Lord or to deepen your relationship with Him.
Other ideas could be making it a goal to read through the entire Bible in the coming year or joining a biblically minded church. These are all good resolutions that could be made by a Christian. There is nothing wrong with making New Year’s Resolutions as long as your heart is in the right place, and you are trusting God with the outcome.
It is not a pagan practice to make resolutions for the New Year as there can be great benefits of setting doable goals for yourself. As believers, we should always be growing in Christlikeness, and we should always be learning. As we get older or as we mature in our Christian walk, we can incorrectly believe that we have it all figured out when we do not.
As long as we are physically alive on this earth, we will continue to grow into the likeness of Christ. Establishing New Year’s Resolutions can help us attain goals, both spiritually, physically, and mentally. Nothing we could do could ever cause God to love us less (Romans 8:31-39); therefore, God does want us to grow, cultivate, and deepen our relationship with Him.
Whether you want to grow spiritually, physically, or mentally stronger this year, rely on God. If your resolutions align with His Will, He can help you achieve these goals. Christians should always seek out their guidance and direction from the Lord and He will direct our steps (Proverbs 16:9).
Can I Make Resolutions?
Absolutely — as long as you are trusting God and you have the right heart motivation. Each day, week, and year are gifts from the Lord. We are not promised tomorrow, thus, we have to make each day count. With the New Year approaching, examine your heart, mind, and actions.
Pray for God to direct your steps and ask Him to help you see areas in your life that need improvement. Maybe a good resolution could be sharing the gospel with at least one friend this year, offering to host a small group Bible study at your house, or volunteering as an assistant teacher at your child’s school.
New Year’s Resolutions do not have to be dramatic or huge in order for them to cause a change in your life. There are many secular resolutions a person may make, such as having the resolution to be “richer,” “become CEO of the company,” or “obtain 50,000 followers on Instagram.”
These types of resolutions should not be made. Christians should not make resolutions from an earthly perspective, but rather from a heavenly perspective. If an individual becomes richer, the head CEO, or obtains 50,000 followers on Instagram, will it truly matter in the grand spectrum of things?
Or would it eternally matter if you shared the message of redemption with those who do not know the Lord? If we are intentional about making Christian New Year’s Resolutions and we pray over them, we will be able to see God work miracles in our own lives as well as in the lives of others.
Examine your heart motive and ask God to help you make New Year’s Resolutions that honor Him and bring glory to His Name. Thus, Christians can make New Year’s Resolutions; however, we must seek God’s counsel and test our heart motives.
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Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Christian Ministry and is currently working toward her Master’s Degree. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is probably embarking on an adventure.