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New Year’s Resolutions

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It is that time of year for many to make New Year’s resolutions. It may surprise you to know that the tradition goes all the way back to before the time of Christ. Janus was the name of a mythical king of early Rome whose face was placed at the head of the calendar. With two faces, Janus could look back on past events and forward to the future.

The New Year has not always begun on January 1. In fact, the New Year doesn’t begin on that date everywhere even today. The Chinese New Year is one example. But January 1 is the first day of the new year for those of us in the West. This goes back to Julius Caesar who developed a calendar that would more accurately reflect the seasons than previous calendars had.

Most of the resolutions we make today have to do with our health. For example, some of the most popular resolutions are: (1) to lose weight, (2) to get fit, and (3) to eat right. So it is not surprising that membership in weight watchers and fitness clubs jump dramatically in the month of  January.

Some resolutions are to stop doing things that are harmful to our body. They include: (1) drink less alcohol and (2) quit smoking now. If our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19), then these would also be very good resolutions.

Other resolutions deal with finances, like paying off debt, and saving money. Those would certainly be appropriate resolutions considering what most Americans just spent for Christmas. Still other resolutions are about self improvement. Some of these are such things as: (1) get a better job and (2) get a better education.

What I found absent from most of these resolutions was anything that involved spiritual growth or even outreach to others. There was one resolution at the bottom of the list of most popular and it was to “volunteer to help others.” At least this resolution in this list dealt with reaching out to others, but the others had to do with fitness, diet, or self improvement.

Why don’t we all make a resolution to be more Godly and to live the Christian life more consistently before the watching world? I think that would be a great resolution for the coming year.

Viewpoints by Kerby Anderson

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