A popular tradition to start the new year is often to formulate a New Year's resolution of something you would like to do better in the year ahead. Many people resolve to loose weight or exercise more. Some make a commitment to be a better person or to specifically work on a certain character flaw. Most of these resolutions are superficial and do not last past a month or two after being made. In fact, it seems like many of the same resolutions are repeated every year due to the previous year's failures. So what would be a good resolution to make for the new year ahead? How about one that would be of spiritual and eternal significance? Why not resolve to do something that God has commanded all of us to do?
In 1 Corinthians 10, right after instructing the Corinthians to show regard to their weaker brothers in relation to the issue of their conscience with eating meat, Paul says that the real issue should be seeking to glorify God. So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). If one is seeking to glorify God, he will be mindful of his brother whose conscience may condemn him in eating meat because he could not get past the knowledge that it would have been offered to idols. He would seek to Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God (v. 32) as Paul himself sought to do and not be selfish but look out for the interest of others for the sake of their salvation (v. 33). This principle to do all to the glory of God is not just limited to respecting weaker brothers in the matters of their conscience. It is a summary of what our lives are to consist of. The whatever you do includes everything that you do. From the drinking of orange juice or coffee that you start your day with to the brushing of your teeth right before bed. All of these actions should be performed in a worshipful attitude thanking and praising God for the resources and ability to do them. We should seek to bring glory to God's name in every decision that we make and action that we do. In fact, we were created for the purpose of glorifying God. Christ died for us so that we would live for Him (2 Corinthians 5:15). The Westminster Confession summarizes this well when it states that "The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever."
Jonathan Edwards, a Puritan pastor in New England who played a major role in the first Great Awakening, put together his own resolutions for his life. Eventually these resolutions numbered to 70 and they all consisted of what he could do to glorify God. In fact, part of his very first resolution he made was "that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God's glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriads of ages hence." Another one of his resolutions was "never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God; nor be, nor suffer it, if I can avoid it."
So, while you are pondering what resolution to make this year, why not resolve to do what God has actually called you to do, to do all to the glory of God? Like Edwards, let's seek, by God's grace, to only do what will glorify God's name the most. Let's seek to praise Him in everything that we do and in everything that we say.
Soli Deo Gloria!