Some of us make New Year resolutions and achieve some of them.  Others don’t bother because they never get achieved anyway.  Still others of us make them, and break them, before the end of January.  It doesn’t matter which group you are in, the beginning of the year is a good time to think about how you want the year to play out and what you can do about it.

Irrespective of how you roll – resolutions at the new year are usually about diet or exercise and very rarely revolve around character or purpose.

Making Resolutions

Which is exactly what has been turning in my head as I move into the new year.   My pastor once suggested to us that instead of getting tied up in making a list of “nice to haves”, we make a few decisions that we know, if consistently achieved, will change the direction and fabric of our lives.newyearresolutions

He said that deciding to do something, or work towards something, is better than being stagnant.  I agree with him that we don’t want to become stagnant, since anything that is stagnant starts to stink and who would want a life that stinks!

Rather achieve four out of a possible ten resolutions, than zero.

He also suggested that instead of saying for example: “I want to lose 10kg this year” we say: “I resolve to develop good eating habits that contribute to my health.”  Like Daniel resolved to do in Daniel 1:8

“But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself in this way.”

Determine in your Heart

In the Amplified version it says “Daniel determined in his heart not to defile himself…”  Daniel’s heart was convicted to live the way God wanted him to live in the Babylonian society, he made a decision for himself (he resolved) to live like this.  He then took action based on that decision of his heart by asking the chief official for permission.

Daniel’s decision in his heart became the personal code that he lived by and made decisions out of.  The chief official tested Daniel’s resolve and in the end Daniel’s decisions positioned him for greater influence.  It is interesting to note, that many years later, this same habit of making a decision of the heart (resolve) to live God’s way and not the way of the Babylonians, landed him in the lion’s den.

Daniel 6:10 Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened towards Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.

Daniel continued to live his life as he resolved to live it: for God.  He continued his practice of prayer and worship no matter what circumstances around him were.

That is some decision of the heart!new-year-resolutions-300x304

I was challenged by this lesson.  What would I resolve to work towards in my life?  I know that during my quiet times I have planned to do many things. Did not always do it though!  But to make a decision of the heart?  I was challenged when I heard that famous men and women who changed the world (much like Daniel did) had their own personal handwritten list of these heart determined decisions (resolutions) that they lived by, that said…  “I resolve to…”  (See Benjamin Franklin’s list he made at 20 years of age below.)

What would my “I resolve to…” list be?

I sat down and did this exercise one year and have repeated the exercise every year since them.  I am going to look at it again in the next few days and make the list for this year. It has made such a huge impact on the overall direction of my life.  In a previous Heart Treasure, “The heart regulates the hands” God taught me that all action flows from what the heart decides.  


What would you resolve to do?

Father, thank you for the guidance of Your Word and the wisdom of those who teach us.  Thank you that Your Spirit guides my heart and my actions as I spend time in your presence.  Thank you that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom in my life and that knowledge of You brings understanding to me on how to live my life. Help me to make these decisions of the heart that will shape and guide my life in the next year.

The Heart Regulates the Hands

I will Yet…

Routine Examination