According to the dictionary, the term New Year’s resolutions is defined as “making goals for the New Year.” We aren’t certain when this custom started, but this practice was recorded by early Babylonians more than 4,000 years ago. These people believed that whatever that person did on the first day of the year had an important impact on their life for the next 12 months.
As 2023 begins, Tennessee Baptist families will be optimistically setting New Year’s resolutions. The most common goals for adults include: to eat healthier, get more exercise and to save more money. But what about our children and youth? How can parents and teachers use this time to honor God and to find a way to serve Him and others?
Resolutions can make a difference. Setting goals helps children and youth grow as a Christian and increase their spiritual growth. Work with the young people in your life to make a commitment and set these goals for 2023. And, of course, many of these suggested resolutions are applicable to adults as well.
• Attend church weekly. Being around God’s people makes a difference in your life. Choose best friends who have high Christian standards.
• Pray at least 15 minutes each day. Pray before school each morning. Ask God to help you show compassion to other students; to keep you safe; to help you focus on instructional materials. Find quiet moments throughout the day to reflect on God’s blessings to you. Thank God at the end of the day for His many blessings.
• Read your Bible daily. Regular Bible reading can change your attitude about life.
• Join a Bible study — or start one of your own. Invite others to join your group.
• Invite a non-Christian friend or a new neighbor to church. Pick them up and invite them to go with you.
• Start volunteering. Could you “adopt” a lonely elderly person in a nursing home? Make regular visits and share your life with your new friend. How can you serve God and others in your church, community, and through mission opportunities?
• Start giving a tenth of your income to God. This includes money earned and monetary gifts. Be as generous with God as He has been with you.
• Commit Scripture verses to memory. Make this a priority to have a supply of Scripture verses that you can pull up quickly.
• Read Christian books and listen to Christian music. Check your church library for authors who write for children and youth.
• Commit to random acts of kindness. Look for ways to help others without the thought of being rewarded or paid back.
As you think of New Year’s resolutions this year, consider how your spiritual growth will serve God and others.
In II Thessalonians 1:11-12, God’s Word gives Christians a proper perspective on resolutions. Paul prays for Christians. We must pray for our children. Parents help their children make resolutions, according to this passage, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified. B&R — Tomlin resides in Jackson and writes for numerous Christian publications. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org