by Kendall Hill

Well, here we are once again faced with the ending of another year and the beginning of a new one, and I’m sure for some of us, New Year’s resolutions are being considered. You know there is something about a new year that gives us a feeling of a fresh start, but in reality, the only difference between December 31st and January 1st is just another day.

So where did this New Year’s resolution stuff come from anyway? Tradition says that it started back in 153 BC when the Romans named the first month of the year after Janus, their god of beginnings and the guardian of doors and entrances. Janus was always depicted with two faces: One face on the front of his head and one on the back so he could face forwards and backwards at the same time. At midnight on Dec 31st the Romans imagined Janus looking back at the old year and forward to the new.

As we look back on 2016, I am sure there are things that happened this past year in your life that have made you happy, things that broke your heart, loved ones that you will miss, things that you won’t do again or things that will make you wiser.

Although we can learn from the past, the past is something we cannot change.
The Apostle Paul said it best:

Philippians 3:13-14, “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

If you are thinking about building a “top ten” list for your new year’s resolutions and want long life, prosperity and peace, you might want to consider the words of the wisest man who ever lived. In reading over Proverbs 3, I can imagine that if Solomon put together a “top ten” list from this chapter, it would look something like this:

  1. Let love and faithfulness never leave you
  2. Trust in the Lord with all your heart
  3. Do not be wise in your own eyes  
  4. Honor the Lord with all your wealth
  5. Do not despise the Lord’s discipline
  6. Search diligently for wisdom and find it
  7. Have no fear 
  8. Do not withhold good from those who deserve it
  9. Do not plot harm against your neighbor 
  10. Do not envy a violent man or choose any of his ways

You might want to use some of these, all of these, or none of these; but whatever you choose for your New Year’s resolutions, I hope the word of God is your foundation for them. May you have God’s blessings of grace and peace in the coming year.