Psalm 24:1 (KJV) says, “The earth is the LORD's and the fulness thereof.” That means God owns everything. But He chose us to manage over the earth. Go back and read that again. He owns it all, yet He picked us to be stewards over His creation. That’s a big deal!
We’ve talked a lot about how everything from our finances to our relationships and our children fall under the umbrella of stewardship.
But have you ever considered that our New Year’s resolutions belong to Him?
When we invite God into our annual resolutions, He turns them into life-changing revolutions. They’re no longer just goals for the start of the year. They’re backed by the kingdom and impact our lives—and the lives of everyone around us. Saving for retirement becomes an opportunity to leave a legacy to your children. Losing weight becomes more about honoring your body as God’s temple than finding self-worth in your appearance. And reading a daily devotional reminds you to show God's love to the people you meet each day.
That sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it? So how do you turn your resolutions into revolutions?
First, think about why you picked your goals. Understanding the why behind your resolutions is the initial step. From there, ask yourself these four questions about each thing you want to accomplish in 2016.
1. Does it line up with Scripture?
Let’s face it—you won’t be able to quote chapter and verse for every goal you set. But, if you claim to follow Christ, the spirit of your resolutions needs to line up with your faith. If your goals are backed by Scripture, your chances of success increase. For example, let’s say you want to take better care of your body this year. Meditate on verses that talk about honoring God with our bodies. For example, 1 Corinthians 6:19–20 says our bodies are God’s temple. Since He paid such a high price to save us, we should use our bodies to glorify Him.
2. Have you prayed about it?
Philippians 4:6 reminds us to share our needs with God in prayer. If you want your resolution to affect real change, it’ll help to have the Creator on your side. Sometimes, we fall into the trap of seeing prayer as passive—but that couldn’t be any further from the truth. If we’re willing to talk to our friends and mentors about our resolutions, we should definitely be willing to talk to God about them.
You want to pray about whether or not your resolution is worthwhile (and take it seriously if He waves a red flag). But you also want God involved throughout the entire journey. Let's go back to the example of taking better care of your body. Before your meals or on your way to the gym, say a prayer. Ask God to help you keep your priorities in check. It isn't about your appearance, but about honoring the one body God gave you. This kind of focus makes revolutions out of ordinary resolutions.
3. Will it help you serve others?
Wouldn’t it be great if your resolutions helped you be a part of something bigger than yourself? Matthew 5:14–16 reminds us that we are lights in the world—lights that aren’t supposed to stay hidden. One way we shine is using our talents and abilities to meet the needs of others. In other words, we’re blessed to be a blessing! Practicing patience, learning how to cook healthier meals, or studying personal finance are all skills that we can use to serve—and empower—others.
Take a look at your goals and write down at least one way your success will influence others for the better.
4. Does it bring you closer to God?
It sounds simple: The things we do should pull us closer to God, not push us farther from Him. But this question isn’t quite as black-and-white as the rest. While some goals will clearly strengthen your faith, others might require you to be more intentional about putting that faith into action. If you set a goal to journal more, invite God into that quiet time. Or, if you want to be a better parent, consider how God adopted us into His family—and how He shows us unconditional love and grace.
There you have it—four questions that will help you turn your resolutions into revolutions. Don’t hurry through the process. This isn’t about getting it done fast, but getting it done right. If you take the time to answer these questions about each of your resolutions (and course-correct as necessary), you’ll do more than hit your goal—you’ll experience a revolution.