1. a formal expression of opinion or intention made, usually after voting, by a formal organization, a legislature, a club, or other group.
2. the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc.
These are just a couple of the pertinent definitions of a word that is virtually synonymous with New Year's Day. You can see the rest here. I'm sure that somebody out there is keeping track of things like what percentage of people actually make a resolution (or resolutions) each year. That percentage, whatever it may be, is not likely to be far off from the percentage of people who fail to keep their New Year's resolution.
At the same time, there is something to be said for the idea of having a clean slate, a fresh start, a new page on which to write the next chapter of our own little story. This is the time of year when we decide to "be nicer to others", "to lose those extra pounds", or "to pray and read the Bible more". Most people are elated at the idea that we can restart, rewind, or redo life.
One of the tragic realities of our day is that so many people fail to see that Jesus Christ has come to give them something far more permanent than their New Year's resolution. Every day with Jesus is a "New Day". Galatians 6:15 says, "...what counts is a new creation." Having faith in Jesus Christ (i.e. a commitment to Him) brings to us the peace, security, and fresh hope that no human resolution can bring.
I found this quote while doing some research this week. I think that it expresses well the proper perspective that one should have as we enter a new year.
A New Year’s Prayer
May God make your year a happy one!
Not by shielding you from all sorrows and pain,
But by strengthening you to bear it, as it comes;
Not by making your path easy,
But by making you sturdy to travel any path;
Not by taking hardships from you,
But by taking fear from your heart;
Not by granting you unbroken sunshine,
But by keeping your face bright, even in the shadows;
Not by making your life always pleasant,
But by showing you when people and their causes need you most,
and by making you anxious to be there to help.
God’s love, peace, hope and joy to you for the year ahead.
Don't get me wrong; it's not a bad thing to have a resolution. Just be mindful that your hope is placed in Christ and that you move ahead with a commitment to trusting Jesus for the kind of change that pleases the Lord.
Here's a crazy thought: What if we all resolved to be more like Christ on Dec. 31, 2011, than we are today? Now that's a resolution worth making!
What is your New Year's resolution?