by Pastor Bryan Knight
We will all feel an atmosphere of newness, new number, new roles at church. Some will seek a new start or what many will call, a new year’s resolution. Have you ever stopped to ask what a new year resolution is? Many sources mention its beginnings with the Babylonians thus being adopted by the Romans. And it seems with the Babylonians and Romans that many debts were settled during this time. Now that’s a nice thought. Having any type of debt settled will make anyone excited about the New Year.
The origins of the word “resolution” as applied to our current usage and understanding is slightly comical. According to www.etymonline.com, “late 14c., resolucioun, “a breaking or reducing into parts; process of breaking up, dissolution,” from Old French resolution (14c.) and directly from Latin resolutionem (nominative resolutio) “process of reducing things into simpler forms,” noun of action from past participle stem of resolvere “to loosen”. Well, this sounds like what most folks do with their new lofty goals, they dissolve them.
Around a hundred years later that changed, “In mid-15c. it also meant “frame of mind,” often implying a pious or moral determination. By 1580s as “a statement upon some matter;” hence “formal decision or expression of a meeting or assembly,” c. 1600. New Year’s resolution in reference to a specific intention to better oneself is from at least the 1780s, and through 19c. they generally were of a pious nature.” Now this definition makes more sense. I see nothing wrong with a person pursuing to better themselves.
Many will make resolutions to promote their health, such as diet, physical fitness etc. Most will neglect their spiritual growth, while suggesting they will grow closer to God. 1 Timothy 4:7b-10, “… Rather, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; 8 for bodily training is just slightly beneficial, but godliness is beneficial for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 9 It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance. 10 For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have set our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all mankind, especially of believers.”
If we apply this to the reality of God/YHWH and the scriptures, we see the debt of sin. Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, …”, we have inherited the sin nature. We all owe a debt to God. This debt isn’t paid once a year nor during any new year or change of a number. Our debt was paid by Christ, as you well know. Promoting the Great Commission must be at the core of our new goals! Not just once a year, but daily! For each day, each breath is a blessing and a new opportunity to present the Gospel message of Christ. Create a perpetual New Day’s Resolution attached to Matthew 28.