Christ, not New Year’s Resolutions, can make you a better person

Updated: 2014-01-02T00:03:22Z


Tribune Media Services

DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: Every year, I always make a long list of New Year’s resolutions, but since I never keep them I’ve decided this time to make just a few. Does the Bible say anything about making resolutions? — D.W.

DEAR D.W.: Yes, the Bible certainly encourages us to examine our lives and resolve to change them if necessary (although not just at the beginning of a new year). The Psalmist, for example, made a resolution to keep his speech pure: “I have planned no evil; my mouth has not transgressed” (Psalm 17:3).

Why, however, do so many of our resolutions fail? Sometimes it’s simply because they aren’t realistic. Instead, they’re only wishful thinking, with no way to make them actually happen. For example, you might resolve to make a million dollars this year, but if you don’t have any way to earn it, it probably isn’t going to happen. Other resolutions fail because we aren’t willing to make the sacrifices necessary to reach them.

But the real problem is within our own hearts and minds. We’d all like to be better people, but no matter how hard we try, we find ourselves tripped up by our own moral failures and weaknesses. Even the Apostle Paul experienced this: “I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out” (Romans 7:18).

What is the solution? The solution is to turn to God, confessing our sins to him and seeking his help to live the way we should. Begin 2014 by turning to Jesus Christ and inviting him into your life. Then ask him to help you become the person he wants you to be. This is what Paul did, and that’s why he could say, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).

© Tribune Media Services 12/31

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