Lose some weight. Start exercising. Save up for the dream holiday. Typical resolutions we’ve all heard our friends – or even ourselves – recycled at the start of each year. But these are just things to do. What if New Year’s resolutions go beyond the doing and and instead revolve around the being? What if we set character goals, too?

Clueless on where to start? Here’s some inspiration from Bible characters.


Someone’s got to applaud David’s honest heart. If you’ve been in church long enough, you’ll know how easy it is to be politically correct – just say the right things, react appropriately. But David is one person who is entirely open and transparent with his feelings. Even when Nathan confronted him of his adultery and murder, he was quick to confess and showed remorse (2 Samuel 12:13). There are no well-rehearsed answers from David, only honest expressions. There is nothing shameful about baring your heart and soul. Take it from the guy who tore his clothes in sorrow.


As one of the most prominent female prophets mentioned in the bible, Deborah has an undeniable stature and presence. When God decided it was time to deliver Israelites out of oppression, she called forth Israel’s military commander, Barak, to attack the enemy. But he was intimidated by the enemy’s military strength and asked for Deborah to go with him. Deborah readily agreed though she was no warrior, and she let Barak know what his lack of courage meant: “Because of the course you are taking, the honour will not be yours, for the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman” (Judges 4:9). We could all learn to stand firm like her in times of trial.


I don’t mean it in the literal sense, though Lydia is known for her hospitality. More than just her receptiveness towards people, her receptiveness towards God’s truth is much more commendable. Lydia was a Gentile before Paul came and preached to her in Acts 16:14-15. In contrast to the conversion of Paul and Silas’ prison warden which followed right after hers, there was no earthquake (read: Huge tragedy) needed to convince her. She was quick to recognise truth and welcomed it readily. This year, resolve to make rooms in your heart to allow God to move in your life – just like Lydia.


Josiah became king of Israel at a young age. As king, he sought God and purged Israel of pagan worship, vowed to faithfully follow God’s commands, restored priestly services and rebuilt the temple. Because of his sincere dedication to live a godly life, God delayed His judgement on Israel (2 Kings 22:19-20). Talk about influential. Who says youth can’t full-on pursue God and His ways to make an impact in the world?


Luke’s comprehensive documentation of Jesus’ ministry and the early Church makes him as one of the most important storytellers of the New Testament. Yet, he is not boastful. He does not address himself by name nor credit himself as the author of Luke and Acts. He also does not refer to himself as Paul’s companion, despite having to give up his medical career to follow Paul. Luke intentionally shied from drawing attention to himself, so that the focus would fall on Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit. Even though he is a physician – which he also didn’t mention in his own writings – he often highlights Jesus’ healing miracles and point people to Jesus as the great Healer instead. Luke’s a great model for how to God take centrestage of your life.

Personally, in 2017, I want to work at being more like David, one who is unreserved in sharing my emotions and thoughts with God. What about you?