It’s about this time of year, as Christmas slowly creeps upon us, with the New Year hand in hand, that we start to think about what the New Year will hold for us. This time of year we start making New Year’s resolutions which usually include working out more, eating right, reading a certain amount of books (tick), starting a new love life, getting promoted etc. etc. The problem, however, is that a lot of the resolutions we end up making are empty and end up not working out. I can’t even count how many times that I have promised to myself that I would work out better in the New Year, but instead, get caught up playing Halo or the new Fallout. For Christians, though, our resolutions can look a bit different. We can say to ourselves that we are going to pray more in the year to come or read the Bible more. These are great goals to set, don’t get me wrong. The problem, however, is that 9 out of 10 Christians (in my experience) that I’ve met fail to fulfil these resolutions as well. So maybe the question we should all be asking ourselves as the New Year approaches is, “as a Christian, what resolutions should I be setting for myself that I can actually fulfil so that God may be glorified?”
Glorifying God First
As I have mentioned in my blog on Identity and Idolatry: Part I, we were all created in the image and likeness of God (Gen 1:26-27). Furthermore, the reason why we were created was to reflect God’s image to the world so that He may be glorified and be made known to all of creation. If this is true (I will write on this in a separate blog), then as Christians we have to consider if the resolutions we want to make are set up so that they make God more known to the rest of the world.
John Piper has a lot of great stuff to say about glorifying God. However, one quote stands out to me where he says,
I asked, Why did God create the world? And I answered: God created this world for the praise of the glory of his grace displayed supremely in the death of Jesus. The problem is that at the heart of that answer is God’s self-promotion. God created the world for his own praise. For his own glory.
What Piper says is pretty profound. I think if we all gave serious consideration to what is being said, it would change the way we would do everything in our lives. God created everything (and ultimately us) so that His glory would be displayed to everyone and so that He would be praised. This means that when we make resolutions for the New Year, we need to ask the question, “does this display the glory of God, or is this self-serving?”
Making the Right Resolutions
If, as Christians, we want to make the resolutions for the New Year, we have to seriously consider a few essential things. First, we have to (like I have already mentioned) ask, “what will glorify God the most?” If we are mindful of glorifying God in every resolution we make, then it will be easier for us to decide which resolutions are worth pursuing and which ones aren’t.
Second, if we want to glorify God in our resolutions, then we must actually take seriously the call to reflect His greatness to all of creation. Unless we take seriously the call that God has on each Christians life to reveal His fame and glory to the world, every resolution (and everything we do for that matter), will ultimately fail and fall short of what God has intended for us. So take the time to read Scripture and pray to God so that the call to glorify God settles deep into your heart.
Lastly, we have to do whatever God is calling us to do without compromise. It is so easy to compromise on our resolutions. Many of us begin our New Year well, but a few months into our resolution, we start to neglect and compromise on what we originally set out to do. If we are serious about glorifying God in our resolutions, this can’t be an option. We have to see the resolutions that God has placed onto our hearts to its end, no matter how long this takes. This can only be done if we depend on God for everything, and if we walk by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16). Whatever your resolutions for the New Year may be, do it all to the glory of God without compromise and with a serious heart to reflect God to the entire world.