New Year’s Eve is a great time for Christian believers to get together and rejoice, either in homes or in churches. Food, fun and fellowship are a healthy alternative to all-night excessive drinking of alcoholic beverages.
Traditionally, many people in the world get inebriated on New Year’s Eve, only to wake up sometime the next day not knowing what they might have said, what happened, or with whom. But God’s people can unite in prayer for God’s will to be done, and for His Kingdom to come. Although this may perhaps sound too religious, it is a safe and sane alternative to the typical New Year’s celebrations that dominate cultures around the world.
Gathering together with music, food, games, good conversation, and perhaps an inspirational message right before midnight, along with prayer, make for a blessed New Year’s Eve celebration. Then go home, go to bed, and enjoy the next day without a smashing headache or an upset stomach.
One of the traditions associated with New Year’s observances is the making of resolutions, promises to stop or start something in the new year. On the average, about half of American adults make one or more New Year’s resolutions each year, which commonly include weight loss, exercise, quitting smoking and better money management.
Typically, about 75 percent of people who make resolutions maintain their commitment past the first week, and less than half keep their word to themselves after six months. Numbers vary, of course, and some people actually make the desired changes in their lives. But for the most part, it’s another disappointment and another failure, and it comes up again at the next New Year’s time.
The Bible does not speak for or against the concept of New Year’s resolutions. Every day is the day the Lord has made, as Psalm 118:24 states, and “we will rejoice and be glad in it.” One can make a resolution or promise to oneself any day of the year, and keeping it or breaking it is in their hands. One thing the Bible does say in Ecclesiastes 5:2,4 and 5 is that if one makes promises or vows to God, it shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Setting a goal or several goals at the beginning of the new year can be stimulating, but it’s the motivation to keep the resolution that is important. One can determine to pray more, read the Bible more, go to church regularly, or volunteer more, but these resolutions can fail without correct motivation. The incentive must come from within with purpose and a plan. Even though there might be a setback at times, the best thing to do is to immediately start again.