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What Makes a Good Resolution?

Updated: May 25, 2021

Written by Lawrence Yoo

I don’t agree with the statement “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” You see that attitude often in adults. That is an anti-Christian message. God is constantly sanctifying us. Because of the power of the Holy Spirit, we should constantly be learning new tricks.

Resolutions can help. They declare that we are not going to stay the same, but we are going to grow. When speaking of resolutions, Jonathan Edwards said, “Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God’s help, I do humbly entreat him by his grace to help me keep these resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to his will, for Christ’s sake.”

Ligonier Ministry proposes 4 principles in making resolutions:

1. Resolve Sensibly. If you don’t currently exercise, you are probably going to have a hard time exercising for an hour every day. The same goes for Bible reading. Make resolutions that can be sensibly applied to your life.

2. Resolve Dependently. Always keep in mind that we can do nothing without God’s help. It is out of God’s glorious riches that we have the strength to grow and change (Ephesians 3:16).

3. Resolve Humbly. Resolutions are not a competition, a game, or an opportunity to boast in our power or self-control.

4. Resolve for Christ’s sake. We do not make resolutions so that we can become more awesome. We don’t save more money just to spend it on ourselves. We don’t study just to know more than others. And we don’t exercise merely for the hope of getting a six-pack. We make resolutions so that we can be more physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy to do God’s will.

I hope you find some time this week to prayerfully consider your resolutions. I pray God will be glorified as we ask Him to teach all of us (old dogs and young) to learn new tricks.

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