Thursday, December 28, 2017

Is Setting a New Year Resolution Biblical?

It would appear the setting goals would be wise and would lead to better results.  In fact, Solomon tells us that, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance.”  (Proverbs 21:5)  Some people love to plan out every detail in life but it does not ensure that all of our planning or goals will be met. 

I worked for a pastor as a summer intern who detested laziness so he had all of the young men working on the summer program at the church to memorize Bible verses that focused on planning and working hard.  I recall memorizing Proverbs 6:6-11 which reads:

“Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.  Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. How long will you lie there, O sluggard?  When will you arise from your sleep?  A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.” 

Biblically, according to this verse, there is much to be said about the one who will not work but Scripture also challenges those who do not plan for the future.  Christ even said in Luke 14:28, “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?” 

I believe that planning and setting goals are an excellent way to complete work.  However, I do believe it is possible to set goals for one’s own glory and never consult or include God.  Solomon says in Proverbs 16:9, ““In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.”  In other words, do we consult our sovereign God before we make our plans or are we guilty of asking Him to bless what we have already established in our minds.

Even James says that Christians can plan arrogantly by failing to remember that God is the One who gives us each day to live.  Listen to James 4:13-15, “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.  Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’”

I believe that all goals (even a New Year resolution) should be made in tandem with God’s will.  Christians should plan and live with an eternal mindset that demonstrates that there is more than just today that they are living for. Christ told His followers, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Let’s plan and work with God to accomplish great things this year for His glory!

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