I used to joke that my new year’s resolution is to make no resolutions, and I always keep it. The joke is a reflection of my distaste for arbitrary dates and traditions that place on me some obligation to do a certain thing in a certain way at a certain time. I don’t use it anymore, because I also like to think of myself as a staunchly logical person, and to say that I resolve to make no resolutions is a logical impossibility.
Imagine then my delight to find justification for my annual new year’s negation. It turns out New Year’s resolutions are derived from ancient Babylonian and roman customs. The tradition is firmly rooted in pagan practice. Unlike Christian celebrations such as Christmas that were moved or adjusted in some way to compete with pagan festivals, the New Year celebration has no Christian foundation. Add to that the well-known inaccuracy of historical methods of marking time, and you can see that there is no reason to treat New Year’s Day differently than any other day.
Please understand that I am not saying that New Year celebrations or resolutions are wrong. Like most things not specifically prohibited by God’s word, they are a matter of personal conscience. God is concerned with what is in your heart. I may have dinner with friends on New Year’s Eve, but Linda and I will probably be sleeping in the new year. As for resolutions, if you need to make one, what are you waiting for? Don’t wait for some arbitrary date to get started. Do it now!