If you want to become a better person in 2018, you’re not alone.
According to a new Marist Poll, being a “better person” is the most popular New Year’s resolution for 2018, tied with weight loss.
Last year, the #1 New Year’s resolution was also becoming a “better person” edging out weight loss and exercising more.
How does one become a better person – or even a good person?
The answer depends on whom you ask:
- Most Americans will tell you that belief in God is not a pre-requisite to one’s goodness. In fact, according to a new Pew Research survey, most U.S. adults (56%) now say it is not necessary to believe in God to be moral and have good values. (Even among religiously affiliated adults, the share who say belief in God is unnecessary for morality grew, from 42% in 2011 to 45% in 2017.)
- According to USA Today, social psychologists, ethicists, and religious leaders say a good person is someone who is good to everybody — that includes family and friends to strangers and those of a different race or ethnicity. The article suggests starting by taking a hard look at yourself but acknowledges “we will always struggle to live morally.”
- If you ask God, He will tell you the truth. He will tell you that He created you and watches over you (Psalm 139:7-12). You are His “masterpiece” whom He created to do good works (Ephesians 2:10 NLT). He will tell you that your sin separates you from Him (Romans 3:23). However, through Jesus, He’s made a way to cleanse you from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
One of the reasons we strive to become a “better person” is because of fear and insecurity.
For example, author Sandra Stanley says much of the fear we face is rooted in the “age-old insecurity of not being enough.”
I don’t matter enough.
I’m not doing enough.
I’m not good enough.
I’m not smart enough.
I’m not loveable enough.
Stanley says “God, who knows every single thing about us – even the stuff we work so hard to hide – offers a way to be enough. He proves our worth by making an enormous sacrifice on our behalf.”
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
“God believes that even the self-centered, sinful version of you is worth the unimaginable price of his Son’s life,” says Stanley. “Stop striving and rest. He has proven your worth once and for all.”
There’s a better way to achieve 2018’s most popular New Year’s resolution; stop striving to make yourself better and believe Jesus is enough for you:
- His sacrifice on the cross is enough to make you blameless before God’s presence (Jude 1:24).
- His love is enough to satisfy your deepest longings (Psalm 107:9).
- His grace is enough to cause you to abound in every good work (2 Corinthians 9:8).
May 2018 be the year you stop trying to be a “better” person and, instead, trust God with your fears. Rest in the fact that He is enough, and forget being better to become your best.
Laura Lacey Johnson is a cutting-edge faith and culture writer who focuses on everyday headlines. In addition to speaking, she is a regular contributor to ChristianHeadlines.com and American Family Radio. To read Laura’s latest work on the headlines, visit www.lauralaceyjohnson.com.