Ringing in the new year typically evokes a sense of “this year” things are going to be different.
From promising God you’ll spend more time reading His Word to pledging to join a Bible Study, many Christians have good intentions of starting a new year the right way.
But there are three main New Year’s resolutions many Christians make that actually could harm or weaken their spiritual lives – these resolutions might surprise you.
The Resolution To “Do More”
Many Christians fall into the trap of people-pleasing, thinking they must sign up and volunteer at every church outreach event or spend every Sunday volunteering at church for hours.
To be clear, Christians should use their spiritual gifts to serve God and the body of Christ – but from a place of overflow – not emptiness.
As Christians, we know works won’t “save us” – yet many people believe they somehow have to keep “earning” God’s approval by spending their weeks running frantically from event to event and volunteering for everything.
Without being filled up by God – burnout is inevitable.
And remember – if YOU fill EVERY spot that’s needed…
… it robs others of the blessing of stepping in and fulfilling a need.
Pray about where God wants you to serve in your church – and perform that work well.
Resist the internal pressure you place on yourself to “do more” in order to be a “good enough” Christian.
By Christ’s blood you are already made righteous!
The Resolution To “Follow Your Heart”
Many well-intended Christians who are coming out of a tough season, feel convinced they need to “find themselves” and “follow their hearts.”
But God’s Word clearly states that the LAST thing we should do is “follow our hearts.”
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9
Instead of “following your heart” – read your Bible, know God’s Word – and follow HIM.
He has promised that He will give you the desires of your heart, and the more time you spend with God, the more you’ll be amazed at how He changes the desires of your heart to align with His purpose.
The Resolution To “Become Tougher”
This broken world has the ability to bring even the strongest Christians to their knees.
Many people, however – instead of going to God with their pain and despair –vow to become “tougher” or “more resilient.”
Sadly, this vow hardens them – and squelches the Spirit.
In contrast, God’s Word tells us we are strongest when we are weak and humble – because when we are meek, the power of God shines the brightest.
As Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 12:9:
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
Resist the temptation to let yourself become hard due to the wounds inflicted on you by self or others.
Surrender to God – and you’ll find freedom that surpasses human understanding.
For The Glory of God
As you begin your new year, make sure all you do is for the glory of God.
Not sure where to start?
You can’t go wrong with pursuing spiritual disciplines like fasting or meditating on Scripture.
Commit this year to pray daily to God, or consider starting a prayer journal if you need space to write out the deepest longings of your soul.
God continues to speak through His Word – so consider how you can incorporate daily Scripture reading into your life – and watch what God can do through your obedience!
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” – John 3:16-17
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