One of the reasons we make resolutions is that we are people who do better with some type of regimen or schedule. We rarely naturally drift into a variety of positive habits for our lives, so we need a plan. Think about it, do you need to commit to eating poorly, or does that just come easy? You know what they say, “no one plans to fail, they just fail to plan.”
So as we enter 2021, here are some ideas for things you can commit (resolve) to doing if you are not already and some ways to help you do them.
Keep Your Commitments
Let your yes be yes and no be no! People are notorious over-promisers. We tend to tell folks what we think they want to hear. This is the people-pleaser in many of us. Then we overcommit and underdeliver. Excuses abound as we talk about how busy we got, etc.
It is better to resolve that you will keep your commitments, and then carefully count the cost of each one. Even with the rest of your resolutions, if you make them too lofty, your failure to reach them could be more devastating than had you never made them! Set goals that are achievable, leave room for setbacks, but also consider setting goals that stretch you a bit as well.
Read the Bible Daily
Christians must feed on God’s Word as a regular habit. It is more important than our “daily bread” yet neglected more often. Some people read the entire Bible every year. Other folks follow various plans. I don’t like plans where if you “miss a day” it screws up the schedule…so I try to follow plans that aren’t so much “date on the calendar” oriented but simply “what do I read next oriented.” This leaves room for a week where my focus changes and I can’t do my “normal” scheduled plan reading.
You don’t have to read the entire Bible though. You could read a Psalm every day for a year. Or you can try 2 psalms a day…or more. You can also set a timer like “I’m going to read for 15 minutes every day” or whatever is a good increment for you. Some days that could mean 1 psalm and other days 3.
What I want you to do is to NOT compare yourself to others and to commit to spending some time in God’s Word every day…and to see if you can increase that by just a little bit than previous years. And I have an idea to help you. There is an app I found that I like. I’ve downloaded it. It’s called Redeeming Time.
This app is pretty cool. You open the app and it asks you how much time you have. then it gives you a list of Bible chapters or books you can read. You tap the one you want and “GO.” It’s designed to change your habit from opening a social media app and just scrolling through photos of secondary acquaintance’s breakfasts and get your mind focused on redeeming the time you have for Christ. Try it and let me know if it helps you, too!
Pray for More Things
Here are some things I regularly forget to pray for if I don’t have an app on my phone reminding me or a schedule to follow. Maybe you have the same struggle.
- Pastors, including my own
- Kings, government officials, etc.
- Imprisoned brethren
- Persecuted brethren
- Those working for abortion abolition and other good causes in the name of Christ
- Missing children, trafficked children, and adults
Commit to praying for these various groups and others that you can think of as well. The same folks who make the Redeeming Time app make PrayerMate which is a really great app for helping you remember a variety of things to pray for.
Memorize Something in Scripture
I have beaten this drum before (<–click this link for all the arguments) and I even have a website dedicated to helping people memorize scripture (https://memorizethescripture.com). I am not saying you need to be able to stand and recite Hebrews or even Jude by 2022. But you can certainly select a few of the shorter psalms and memorize them and practice them regularly, right?
Psalms 1, 4, 23, 98, 133, and 117 are all short enough for someone to learn who professes to have difficultly but are packed with powerful truths that will help you take every thought captive to obey Christ.
Do Something About Abortion
It’s easy to argue that the abortion epidemic in our world today is the greatest evil being perpetrated against humanity and the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Regardless of your proximity to an abortion clinic, there are ways you can commit to helping fight against this great injustice.
- Pray once a week for those on the front lines and legislatures and governments. Pick a day like “every Monday I’ll focus my prayer on abortion.”
- Go to an abortion clinic one more time a month than you do now and stand outside with a sign pointing people to Christ and informing them of the evil of abortion.
- Contact your local legislators and find out their stance on this topic and reason with them.
- Support those who open-air preach at clinics with encouragement and even financial support.
- Talk to people around you about it. Evangelism is important, and the topic of abortion often leads to an easy way to present the gospel to your neighbor.
Donate a Little More Money to Christians
Look at what you spent money on in 2020 and see if you can find ways to tighten your belt and give a little more funding to your church or a favorite gospel preaching organization of yours.
Review Your List
Finally, take time to review your list of goals and resolutions once in a while. Don’t get discouraged when you fail to do as well as you hoped, just start again pressing forward to what lies ahead!
Commit to making small changes and let them add up. Little foxes spoil the grapes (Songs 2:15), but small positive changes add up to big benefits. I hope that 2021 is a year that you will grow closer to the Son of God who died for His people. Regardless of what challenges we face, our God is in the Heavens doing all that He pleases and these resolutions will help you to endure suffering or properly handle prosperity in the coming new year.