A Jagged Contention: New Year’s Resolutions

Religious News Service: “You write that making New Year’s Resolutions puts undue pressure on us. How so?”

Tullian Tchividjian: “When it’s up to you to go out and get the love you crave, create your own worth, or work at becoming acceptable to those you want to impress, life gets heavy. New Year’s Resolutions are a burdening attempt to fix ourselves and make ourselves more lovable. But here’s the good news: God loves us as we are, not as we should be.

“God’s love for me, approval of me, and commitment to me does not ride on my resolve for God but on God’s resolve for me. God always meets my messes with his mercy, my failures with his forgiveness, and my guilt with his grace. The Gospel of Jesus Christ announces that because Jesus won for you, you’re free to lose; because Jesus was strong for you, you’re free to be weak; because Jesus was extraordinary, you’re free to be ordinary; because Jesus succeeded for you, you’re free to fail.”

– Tullian Tchividjian in an interview with Jonathan Merritt


Are you making resolutions this year? Is Tchividjian right about New Year’s Resolutions being an unnecessary burden? Certainly discipline is an important part of the Christian’s life, as St. Paul says (I Corinthians 9:27).  But, how do we prevent ourselves from finding our identity and worth in our successes and failures? (Please, no comments on Tchividjian himself. Let’s deal with the ideas and leave the ad hominem comments for more juvenile blogs…)

Share your thoughts in the comments below


4 thoughts on “A Jagged Contention: New Year’s Resolutions

  1. I think it is good to make New Years resolutions, even if it is difficult to keep our promises. Sometimes I have been able to change some things in my life which needed changing. It is better than just giving up and cynically assuming we cannot change or alter our behavior. We must also seek God’s help.

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  2. Our one great discipline must be to attain to a new assurance of the forgiveness of sins through daily repentance and faith. To doubt that this is a better way to care for the growth of the spiritual life than by employing all kinds of self-imposed discipline is in reality to doubt that God’s creative power can be more effective than our human artifices. -Einar Billings, Our Calling

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  3. I think New Year’s Resolutions are a good thing, provided that they are coming from a place of complete security in the finished work of Christ. The gospel calls us to do good works, not to earn our salvation or even to prove it, but because of our salvation. If our resolutions are intended to make ourselves more lovable or to earn someone’s favor, then they’re misguided. If they are made out of a pure love for God and a desire to put on Christ Jesus, then I think we’re moving in the right direction.


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