Before You Make Your New Year’s Resolutions

This begins a new series on New Year’s Resolutions from Paul Kim. 

2018 is soon upon us, and with the New Year comes an opportunity to reflect on where we are and where we’d like to be. It’s a time for resolutions, be that for our eartealth, finances, career or relationships. The apostle Paul had some ideas of where he wanted to be:

But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)

I don’t believe Paul made New Year resolutions, but the New Year gives us an opportunity to be intentional and perhaps make some resolutions to help us grow in our spiritual lives.

But first, let’s back up and think about what we’re trying to do. Or, just as importantly, what we’re not trying to do. The goal is not to cross off a checklist: to read through the Bible, or pray every day, or get more involved at church.

While those things are great, the real goal is to see Jesus, and to nurture greater love, trust and intimacy with Him. So the real question is: what are some habits that would help your mind and heart to see Jesus, rest in Jesus, enjoy Jesus?

Bible and prayer are obvious foundational habits. But maybe there are other options you could consider such as practicing solitude or gratitude, cultivating relationships with prayer partners, or creating space for personal worship.

The other side of that question is, what are some things that get in the way? What habits take up too much time and energy or are too big a distraction and temptation for you to more actively pursue Christ? Perhaps you need to limit social media, Netflix, or shopping. Do you constantly check Instagram? Maybe there are good things that have become too consuming, like work, exercise, certain relationships, or managing money. It’s possible that you’re overcommitted and need to make some space for your spiritual life to flourish.

Pause to reflect on what particular things help you and hurt you from drawing near to Jesus. May 2018 be a year we “press on toward the goal of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”


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  • I think it’s wonderful you’re doing a blog series, Paul. I always love what you have to say. It’s funny and no coincidence that I was just meditating on this goal-oriented mindset this morning.

    I’m staying in Seattle with my sister’s family and when I went to the bathroom I noticed her son and daughter have their individual “ultimate life goal” taped up on the mirror. I smiled reading their hand-written notes: NBA player and Corporate lawyer. I thought to myself how my life goal has always been to become a best-selling, well-known and dearly loved author. Oh, and paid handsomely…

    I’m relieved to say this goal has drastically changed. These days my goal is to become more intimate with Jesus so I can cultivate a stronger example of Christ — for the benefit of others and myself. I want to constantly depend on the Holy Spirit to empower me. And truly, deeply know that God loves me.

    I’m not saying I no longer care if my earthly goals are ever reached–I still want those things–but the MOST important goal is having a beautiful relationship with Jesus. Because he helps me through anything. And if my earthly goals never come to fruition, Jesus will bring me comfort. A comfort no earthly trinket could ever provide. Union with Christ is the truest and most essential goal. I’m grateful I got to ponder this two times today. Can’t ignore those Holy Ghost nudges.