Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions: Some Guidance from Psalm 119:59

Many Americans have welcomed 2022 by making New Year’s Resolutions. “A new year resolution,” according to one dictionary, “is a commitment that an individual makes to one or more personal goals, projects, or the reforming of a habit. This lifestyle change is generally interpreted as advantageous, and it’s done to improve [a person’s] wellbeing.”1 According to a recent study by Statista,2 the 10 most popular New Year’s resolutions are as follows (which I’ll list in reverse order):

  • #10: Cut down on alcohol (15%)
  • #9: Quit smoking (19%)
  • #8: Reduce stress on the job (20%)
  • #7: Improve job performance (23%)
  • #6: Spend less time on social media (24%) [relatively new]
  • #5: Live more economically (30%)
  • #4: Lose weight (31%) [Top on some lists]
  • #3: Spend more time with family/friends (34%) [big since COVID]
  • #2: Eat healthier (42%)
  • #1: Exercise more (44%)

If you search the Internet for “10 most popular,” you’ll find some variation. But there’s one thing all the lists have in common: they all leave God out of the picture! To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with reducing stress, getting our finances in order, and doing things that promote good health. But Jesus told his followers, “Seek first God’s kingdom and his righteousness, and all these other things will be added to you” (Matt 6:33). In other words, Christ is calling us to keep our priorities straight.

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Lifeway Research: New Year’s Resolutions Focus on Health, God and Money

"...more than 2 in 5 Americans (44%) say previous New Year’s resolutions have focused on their health. More than 1 in 4 say they’ve made resolutions on their relationship with God (29%), their finances (29%) or their relationship with a family member (26%)." - Lifeway

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True in 98, True Now: Resolution on Moral Character of Public Officials

Resolution on Moral Character of Public Officials

Salt Lake City, Utah – 1998

WHEREAS, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Proverbs 14:34 NAS); and

WHEREAS, Serious allegations continue to be made about moral and legal misconduct by certain public officials; and

WHEREAS, The Bible calls upon all citizens to submit themselves to their governing authorities as ministers of the Lord (Romans 13:1; 1 Peter 2:13); and

WHEREAS, Scripture further teaches, “Whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves” (Romans 13:2); and

WHEREAS, Governing authorities are not themselves exempt from the rule of law and must submit to the nation’s statutes, rather than mocking them (Romans 13:1; 1 Peter 2:14; Proverbs 19:28-29; 2 Samuel 12:7; Mark 6:17-18); and

WHEREAS, Some journalists report that many Americans are willing to excuse or overlook immoral or illegal conduct by unrepentant public officials so long as economic prosperity prevails; and

WHEREAS, Tolerance of serious wrong by leaders sears the conscience of the culture, spawns unrestrained immorality and lawlessness in the society, and surely results in God’s judgment (1 Kings 16:30; Isaiah 5:18-25); and

WHEREAS, Many public officials and candidates deserve our gratitude and support for their consistent moral character and their uncompromising commitment to biblical principles of right and wrong, resulting in blessing upon their people.

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From the Archives: A Resolution on Resolutions

This year my New Year’s Resolution is to celebrate New Year’s at a time more conducive to change and renewal—oh say, spring instead of the dark, dead of winter when I’m just coming off the sugar high of the holidays. Somehow I think we Gregorian calendar devotees have got this one all wrong.

Historically, New Year’s Day hasn’t always fallen on January first because our calendar hasn’t been a consistent entity. Factor in a few mythological gods, Roman emperors, and a pope or two. Add a dash of Protestant Reformation and you’ll find that in the past, the New Year occurred anywhere from January 1 to March 25. (Surprisingly, it wasn’t until 1752 that England and the American colonies began celebrating New Year’s on January 1st.) That’s nothing to say of the multiple cultures that celebrate it in recognition of their own calendars.  And if you really want your head to spin, don’t forget all our dear southern hemisphere friends who experience the seasons opposite to us and whose Christmas and New Year’s celebrations include BBQs on the beach.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that, in my experience, making resolutions on January 1 is a bad idea.

Because there’s nothing particularly organic about celebrating the New Year this way. For most of us, it’s simply a function of the calendar and happens primarily because we’ve reached the end of the month and need to turn the page (or in my case, glue magnets on the back of my 2012 office-sized calendar from Target and stick it to the side of the refrigerator.) Think about it—there is no seasonal change or religious celebration that would motivate us to make resolutions; it’s simply a cultural obligation. Or, in my experience, the result of the guilt from eating too much, exercising too little and overspending in the last six weeks since Thanksgiving.

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FBFI Position Statements On Creation & Gender

Adopted March 11, 2016 by the FBFI. The July/August 2016 issue of FrontLine includes the following position statements on Creation and Gender, two vitally important points of contention in our society. The articles in the July/August issue also address fundamentally important themes. Click here to subscribe to the magazine. (From Proclaim & Defend, with permission.)

On Creation

1. The Bible teaches six solar days of creation, as indicated by a plain reading of Genesis 1, Exodus 20:8–11, and other passages that refer to the creation week. The Bible also affirms that God created by His miraculous, spoken word, not by any natural process. This precludes the change from one “kind” to another, although it allows for subsequent modifications within a “kind.”

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