New Year's Resolutions

Lose weight. Exercise more. Learn a new skill. Be more patient. As a new year rolls around, many of us will be thinking through resolutions for the year ahead. What’s your resolution?

There’s nothing wrong with new year’s resolutions, and there are many things which we should seek to change as we become more like Jesus, but there are a few things to keep in mind as you set out on your journey of change. As you think through a list of possible resolutions, it’s essential to ask yourself why you would like to change. Here are three common answers:

• to prove ourselves to God (so he will bless us or save us)
• to prove ourselves to other people (so people will like us)
• to prove ourselves to ourselves (so we think well about ourselves).

But all of these put ourselves at the centre, which is essentially what sin is. God isn’t interested in us proving or justifying ourselves. The good news of the Gospel is that God has already justified us through Jesus! When God adopts us as his children we have a new identity which is the motivation for us changing. The reason Christians should want to change is to enjoy the freedom from sin God gives us through Jesus.

So, as you plan your new year’s resolution, make sure that your motivations aren’t based on proving yourself, but on enjoying the freedom we have in Jesus.

Note: For a great resource on why and how we change, see Tim Chester’s book You Can Change.

Stuart Jansen