| from Steve Baker |

As I was looking forward to the New Year of 2021 and considering resolutions I might make, I wondered how many of the young people I teach give consideration to the process of making resolutions for growth and change in the New Year. I surveyed almost a hundred seniors in high school asking them two questions. “Do you make New Year’s resolutions and why or why not?” 

I found that around 60% of students do not make resolutions. Some because they do not believe in them or they think they are useless. Others do not make resolutions because of the frustration of not being able to keep them. The other 40% of students do make resolutions. These students believe that making resolutions is a form of setting goals for growth and improvement. “I make New Year’s resolutions to provide goals for myself to become better,” one young lady stated. A few of these students say that they make resolutions throughout the year rather than just at the beginning.

I then discussed with the students the biblical account of God’s redemptive plan. God sent His Son to make all things new according to Revelation 21:5. This means that everything affected by the curse of sin is being restored and redeemed by Jesus’ death on the cross of Calvary and resurrection. 85% of all the students stated that the knowledge of Jesus’ work did provide motivation to change and grow. A young man explained, “Yes, the promise that Jesus cleanses me of my wrongdoings, pushes me to better myself.” Only 13-15% said that they were not motivated to make any form of resolutions based on that knowledge.

Proverbs 27:23-27 instructs us to use new opportunities to grow, “When the grass is gone and the new growth appears …… the lambs will provide your clothing.” It warns that being too cautious and ignorant of opportunities causes loss. God has done an amazing work to make those who trust in Him alive and new spiritually. He encourages us, His children, to work along with Him in growing and changing into the image of His Son, which includes improving and growing in the abilities with which He has designed us.  

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come,” 2 Corinthians 5:17. “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ. …Working together with Him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain,” 2 Corinthians 5:20,6:1. As Christians it should be a goal, resolution, or daily pursuit to grow in grace and virtue. As another student commented, “Yes, if it wasn’t for the knowledge of how capable God made me, I wouldn’t try to be better.”

Are you challenged by Christ’s gracious work of renewal and redemption to make resolutions of growth and change for 2021? 

Steve Baker and his wife, Joyce have been two of Dr. Kathy’s thought-leaders for years. Now they’re both Celebrate Kids Associates. They work closely together. Steve has served in ministry for almost 40 years. With his heart for discipleship, he has worked as a senior pastor, associate pastor, teacher, coach, and hospice chaplain. Steve has a passion for families, mentoring believers, and discipling parents to walk in this world humbly and boldly as warriors sharing the powerful message of the gospel to all people.