MITRA: Transforming 2018 with godly resolutions

By on January 10, 2018
Narayan Mitra is the pastor of Merritt Baptist Church.

Editor’s note: The views expressed in this column don’t necessarily reflect those of the Merritt Herald and its staff. The Herald welcomes qualified writers with views on this or other faiths to submit their work to newsroom@merrittherald.com, to be considered for publication.


“Why start the year with a holiday?” said John, a workaholic husband to his love-starved wife, Jill.

She was sprawled out on her lazy boy chair, flicking channels on TV, and invited her hubby for some cozy moments.

“What do you expect me to do – sit around and twiddle my thumbs? replied John in zest.

“But dear,” interjected Jill, “the first day in Adam’s life was a holiday.”

“What, a holiday? I never thought of that before,” John replied.

No one enters a New Year with indifference. 2018 is an open book of our lives still. We will have to fill in its blank pages.

Each New Year is like a field of freshly fallen snow. We stand poised on the edge, ready to step out.

Various traditions and rituals intertwine New Year celebrations.

Much before the beginning of the Church, the Romans celebrated the start of the year on March 1. It was Julius Caesar who instituted Jan. 1 as the New Year to honour Janus, the two-faced god who looks backward into the old year and forward to the new.

The custom of New Year resolutions began in this earliest period as the Romans made resolutions to be good to others.

When Christianity became the official religion of Rome, Christians kept Jan. 1 as New Year’s Day. The emphasis was on fasting and prayer, aimed at living the New Year in accordance with new life in Christ.

Soon, however, the New Year celebrations reverted back to March 1, and the emphasis on spiritual things got swept away.

The tradition of setting personal goals at the beginning of the year is good if they are for self-evaluation and renewal.

But, sadly, the end of the year continues to be days dedicated to more godless indulgence than to meditation on God and His word.

Many, of course, also see it as a divine opportunity in the long-standing practice of making resolutions and setting aside of persons and things for God’s purposes.

Here are some real people who were determined last few weeks to make admirable resolutions that merit mentioning.

Joseph and Natasha have resolved that in order to enrich their marriage in 2018, they would offer short prayers for each other before retiring at night.

Another commendable resolution comes from Robert: “I have resolved to pray daily, learn to laugh at myself, cast all my worries on the Lord, and in all my behaviour try to show the love of God.”

I am sure many can identify with the next set of resolutions: “I resolve to walk briskly for 30 minutes daily to glorify my God with my fit body and also develop good reading habits so that I can love God with my mind.”

Are we really overweight? Do we exercise both our body and mind?

The next resolution is worth considering seriously: “My church is struggling with a host of controversial issues. In 2018, I resolve to be a reconciler and be a part of the solution as I engage in discussions with those who differ from me.”

Lastly, here is a resolution to think about and practice: “My deepest longing for the New Year is to know and experience the majesty and holiness of God by intentionally practicing His presence through trust and obedience.”

The foremost consideration each one of us must add to our resolutions is to recognize that without God’s help one is unable to do anything.

Therefore, we must humbly pray that by God’s grace we may be able to keep all the resolutions we make.

We should not make resolutions with an expectation of breaking them. Each week, we must do a self-check and sum up how we are doing and seek God’s help in the process.

Resolutions can then become our sanctified driving force.

Christ calls each one of us to commit to discipline and prayer in becoming conformed to his image.

In his letter, Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian Christians who were struggling with a host of problems. He told them:

“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, which comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18).

This New Year, let us resolve to become a person committed to a sanctifying transformation as we bring every emotion, thought, and action in line with the Word of God.

May 2018 be our transforming year!

 

Narayan Mitra is the Pastor of Merritt Baptist Church, 2499 Coutlee Avenue, Merritt. You can reach him at merrittbaptist@gmail.com

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