Faith resolutions for 2016

December 31st, 2015

The new year 2016 is upon us, and now's the time to make a resolution if you haven’t already. Some people use resolutions as a time to set personal goals or to better themselves. However, did you know the history of New Year resolutions began with religious intentions? The Babylonians made promises to their gods to return borrowed objects or repay debts. Centuries later the Romans also made promises to their god Janus for whom the month of January was named. The desire to make promises for the New Year continued in Western civilization among Christian communities. In 1740, John Wesley introduced a new type of church service called Watch Night services. These services were offered as a godly alternative to holiday partying for Christians who wanted to renew their covenant to God.

Success rate

Today, in Western culture, people tend to focus their resolutions on self-improvement. The most popular resolutions typically center on health, finances, organization, education, career goals and relationships. Nearly half of Americans make resolutions, but sadly only 8 percent are successful in keeping them. The small success rate for keeping resolutions is due to people setting unrealistic goals and lacking long-term willpower. Even though the success rate is very low, people who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.

Making and keeping faith resolutions

Consider making faith resolutions for 2016. The aim is to set specific and realistic goals that help us grow closer to God. The Bible encourages believers to grow from elementary teachings to deep spiritual maturity. We attain spiritual maturity by reading and listening to God’s Word, pursuing an upright heart, and persevering in our faith. Other signs of maturity are exhibited when Christians reflect God’s glory through love and kindness to others. Reaching spiritual maturity is a life-long process of sanctification. Meaning, the Holy Spirit is constantly at work in our hearts helping us to become like Christ.

Question of the Day: What is your New Year resolution, or what New Year resolutions have you made in the past?
Focal Scriptures: Isaiah 28:23-29; Luke 8:4-15; Hebrews 5:8-14

For a complete lesson on this topic visit LinC.

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