Blog #268: On Making Meaningful New Year’s Resolutions

John Cline

A few years ago, in 2016, author Lori Freeland, writing about the making of New Year’s resolutions, penned an article entitled, “20 Goals Every Christian Should Set”. I encourage you to go online and read the full article for yourself, but, in short, here are the main points of her article in which she writes:

If you’ve never considered making goals in the New Year, use this as a starting point and personalize these goals for your own circumstances. Here are 20 goals every Christian should set.

Goal 1: Know what you believe. This year, make it a goal to know what you believe. Set a goal that involves studying the Bible and studying a particular point of faith that has always confused you.

Goal 2: Be real. This year, set a goal to go deeper with the friends and the community God has called you into. Be honest with your prayer requests. And make it a goal to make sure your friends know you are there for them.

Goal 3: Put God first. Take Matthew 22:36-38 seriously. You can’t go wrong when your desires are His, and you look outside yourself to focus on Him.

Goal 4: Stay strong – by staying dressed in the armor of God. Live out Ephesians 6:10-13. Be someone who stands on the power of Christ, rather than on the power of themselves. Think through the Armor of God.

Goal 5: Grow in your faith. Forget one step forward, two steps back. Leap ahead in your life as a believer. Don’t be content to being an infant in the faith. We’re meant to mature spiritually, not stagnate or backslide.

Goal 6: Live life in between. Be a mentor. Find a mentor. Pray for God to sprinkle people into your life who can offer wisdom and people you can share that wisdom with. Your best place is in the middle—helping and being helped.

Goal 7: Be secure in your place as a child of God. You don’t have to guess about your importance and your worth. God gave the ultimate sacrifice for you—His son.

Goal 8: Memorize God’s Word. Build a scripture base—a well of peace and comfort and wisdom—inside your heart, and it will never dry up. God’s Word is the belt of truth. Wear it well.

Goal 9: Walk the line – of holding to your beliefs, but leaving the judgment up to God. It’s a hard balance. But we’re asked to stand apart from the world at the same time we’re asked to love the people of the world.

Goal 10: Be the kind of friend you’d like to have. The Golden Rule has stood the test of time for a reason. Even if it’s not direct Scripture, treating others the way you want to be treated is never a bad strategy. And it has it’s roots in the great commandment, straight from Scripture where Jesus said, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:39,40)

Goal 11: Turn to God first, not last. Don’t waste your time on the world’s wisdom. Commit to beginning and ending your day in prayer. When you do, you’ll be much more likely to bring your problems and frustrations to him first, letting him settle your spirit before you turn to others.

Goal 12: Be a person of integrity. Be the same person when no one’s looking as you are when all eyes are on you. The right thing doesn’t change with the company you keep.

Goal 13: Be teachable. “Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning” (Proverbs 9:9). God wants to shape us until we stand in His glory. Soften your heart and be humble enough to learn.

Goal 14: Aim for financial stability. Money guru Dave Ramsey advises, “A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.” Set an example for your family by being wise with God’s resources.

Goal 15: Seek wisdom. “How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver” (Proverbs 16:16). Where is wisdom found? In others who are further down the path than you, in good books, and of course, in the Word of God.

Goal 16: Live without fear. God didn’t create us to be afraid. He doesn’t want us to live in captivity to the what if’s of life.

Goal 17: Prioritize your life. What you deem important will be where your energy and time go. Ask yourself – when I am at the end of my life, what will I want my legacy to be? Commit to running the race of faith with perseverance, and don’t tire of working hard at the things that mean the most.

Goal 18: Live in the moment. Don’t spend your life waiting for something amazing to happen. Ask God to show you the amazing stuff He’s doing in your life every day. Your future is your now. All the little moments add up to the memories of your life.

Goal 19: Strive to be a servant. If servanthood was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for you. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” Mark 1045). Living as a servant is a life-transforming action and will grow you close to Christ.

Goal 20: Leave a legacy. Will you be someone who’s remembered? That’s up to you. Ask yourself what you want people to say about you after you’re gone—and then strive to be that person.

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