New Years Resolutions for 2010

by Derrick G. Jeter

Another year has gone and a new one has dawned. And sometime between the New Years parades and the football bowl games men and women across the country will make a list of resolutions they hope will guide their life through 2010. Most of the resolutions will be standard fare: lose weight, get out of debt, find a job they really love, watch TV less and read more, and generally try to be a better person. Each resolution will be made with a solemn commit by each person on January 1 . . . and most will be resolutely broken on January 2.

For some, the thought of making resolutions they know they can’t keep leads them to the only resolution worth keeping—make no resolutions. For me, I’m going to take a different tact this year. Instead of making my own resolutions, I’m going to try and fulfill some resolutions written by others.

For example, Moses’s resolutions from Exodus 20:3–17:

  1. Make God the only god in your life.
  2. Worship God only—He sees and hears; idols are deaf and dumb.
  3. Treat God’s name as holy, it represents His holy character.
  4. Take a break from work one day a week and worship God.
  5. Respect your mom and dad, your life will be richer for it.
  6. Root out all hatred from your heart, it’s too heavy a burden to carry.
  7. Remain faithful, in body and mind, to the one God has given to you.
  8. Return things that aren’t yours, or make restitution for things taken and used.
  9. Tell the truth—always: at all times, in all places, and in all circumstances.
  10. Be content with your life—with your spouse and with your house.

Here’s a list from someone who knew a thing or two about wise living, even if he didn’t always put it into practice—Solomon (Proverbs 6:16–19).

  1. Be humble.
  2. Be honest.
  3. Stay calm.
  4. Promote good.
  5. Remain pure.
  6. Report truth.
  7. Spread joy.

Micah’s list of resolutions is short, but not simple to live out (Micah 6:8).

  1. Do justice—don’t play favorites or develop enemy lists.
  2. Love kindness—don’t be mean-spirited or ugly.
  3. Walk humble before God—don’t strut your stuff, it isn’t that great anyway.

The Apostle Paul has many lists of resolutions—all good and practical—but this short list from Philippians 4:4–8 is challenging enough.

  1. Learn to rejoice in everything and at all times, any fool can complain and most do.
  2. Treat everyone with gentleness, the world is rough enough as it is.
  3. Replace worry with prayer, you’ll find peace emotionally and mentally.
  4. Keep these things in the forefront of your mind: truth, honor, righteousness, purity, beauty, reputation, excellence, and praiseworthiness.

Finally, Peter offers worthy resolutions in 2 Peter 1:5–8:

  1. Be diligent.
  2. Keep the faith.
  3. Demonstrate moral excellence.
  4. Keep learning.
  5. Get control of your impulses.
  6. Stay at it—never give up, never give in.
  7. Live godly.
  8. Treat others as brothers, kind heartedly.
  9. Love as Christ loved—unconditionally and sacrificially.

If you’d like to make 2010 a truly life changing year then you might consider taking one of these lists and resolving to live by it. Who knows, others might notice something more remarkable about you than simply your flat abs. They might find a person who’s been changed from the inside out.