Does the Bible say anything about making New Year's resolutions? I quit making them years ago because I never could keep them, but now that I'm more serious about my faith I wondered if I ought to give it a try again. — Mrs. R.Y.
The Bible doesn't mention making resolutions at the beginning of a new year—but it does urge us to examine our lives regularly, and to seek God's help to become better persons every day. The Bible says, "Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord" (Lamentations 3:40).
Did you ever ask yourself why you found it so hard to keep the resolutions you used to make? One reason may have been that they weren't realistic, or you had no clear plan for reaching them. Many New Year's resolutions, I'm afraid, are little more than a "wish list"—a series of things we'd like to change about our lives, but little more. They also may be very self-centered, with little thought about whether or not they are God's will.
Another reason, however, why we fail to keep our resolutions is because we seek to reach them in our own strength instead of with God's help. But we are spiritually and morally weak, and we will never be the people God wants us to be unless we turn to Him for the help we need. The psalmist wrote, "My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth" (Psalm 121:2).
As we begin this new year, pause right now and ask God to show you what He wants to do in your life during this coming year. Resolve to grow closer to Christ every day, and with the help of His Holy Spirit to "pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness" (1 Timothy 6:11).