The first people to make New Year’s resolutions were the Ancient Babylonians. People all over the world have been breaking them ever since. Resolutions in ancient civilizations included things like returning a borrowed farm implement. Early Christians believed that the first day of the new year should be spent reflecting upon the failures of the past year, and resolving to correct them in the new year. Popular contemporary resolutions tend to involve things like quitting smoking, losing weight, or paying debts.
It has been reported that 25% of all resolutions are broken in the first week. That percentage rises to 80% by the second week of February. Less than 8% make it to the end of the year. Our propensity to break them has made New Year’s resolutions a laughing stock. That’s unfortunate when you consider how Biblical Christianity is propagated in part by our resolve to do right before others. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16).”
One of my favorite songs for the New Year’s season is, I Am Resolved. We should consider some of its practical suggestions for a new resolution, and then pray for the grace to weave it into the fabric of our lives…
I am resolved no longer to linger, charmed by the world’s delight,
Things that are higher, things that are nobler, these have allured my sight.
I am resolved to go to the Savior, leaving my sin and strife;
He is the true One, He is the just One, He hath the words of life.
I am resolved to follow the Savior, faithful and true each day;
Heed what He sayeth, do what He willeth, He is the living Way.
I am resolved to enter the kingdom, leaving the paths of sin;
Friends may oppose me, foes may beset me, still will I enter in.
I am resolved, and who will go with me? Come, friends, without delay,
Taught by the Bible, led by the Spirit, we’ll walk the heav’nly way.