Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve. I can’t believe another year has come to an end. But a new year means new beginnings and of course, New Year’s resolutions. I know some people don’t get into resolutions while others are all about them. I love making resolutions because I think it’s at the heart of Christianity. Being human we have faults; we make mistakes. But the gospel of Jesus Christ gives us a reason and the motivation to change.
I read an article recently from the Church’s official magazine, the Ensign, by Elder Joe J. Christensen which talks about New Year’s resolutions in light of being a Christian. In his sermon, Elder Christensen quotes a verse from the New Testament:
“Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man” –Luke:2:52
This is the only verse in the Bible that gives us insight into Jesus’ years between his youth and the beginning of his official ministry. But it does give us wonderful insight into the type of resolutions we can make as Christians. In other words, the Savior developed in four main areas: intellectually (in wisdom and knowledge), physically (in stature), socially (in favor with man), and spiritually (in favor with God). Pulling from Elder Christensen’s sermon, here are four areas we can seek to improve in 2013:
Resolution #1: I resolve to expand my intellectual horizons, to increase in wisdom. This year, commit to read good books throughout your life. Some people learn to read but don’t read very much. This is an area I can definitely improve in.
Resolution #2: I will be resolute in preserving and strengthening my physical health. It is impressive that more than 170 years ago the Lord revealed a health code, the Word of Wisdom, which is practiced by all active Mormons. Living healthily can make all the difference in how we feel and perform. With good health, we can be happier and more successful. Without it, we are curtailed in almost every way. The Bible teaches that our bodies are temples. Let us resolve to treat them that way.
Resolution #3: I resolve to be a truer friend and to become more socially acceptable to people of high standards. Learn to be the kind of person with whom others of high standards enjoy associating. Become genuinely interested in other people. Smile. (Remember, the Lord commands us to “be of good cheer.”) Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves. Talk in terms of the other person’s interests. Make the other person feel important–and do it sincerely.
Resolution #4: I will grow spiritually–I will increase in favor with God. A few items are essential to our spiritual growth. One that is most difficult and universally applicable is for us to resolve to overcome as much as possible the sin of pride. And, if you are really serious about growing spiritually, then “remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8).
I hope 2013 will be a wonderful year for you and your family. What resolutions do you have? What are some ways you’ve helped yourself and others keep to your resolutions in the past for the new year?