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Instead of Resolutions

January 5, 2015

It’s interesting that “you’re never too old to learn” even though “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”… Which is it?

We all know that the answer is actually “both”! Proverbs are never exhaustive, but a summary of something that is true in certain situations or in certain ways. And I’m sure we can all identify with both of them – I’m already feeling that I’m struggling to keep up with new technology, whereas I’m thoroughly enjoying the challenge of learning some Welsh in my spare time…

So which is it going to be in 2015? New Year resolutions rarely get you anywhere; there’s no real incentive to change in a promise prompted by a random calendar event. There has to be more than that: the desire to change has to come from within, from an inner conviction that it needs to happen. And how often does that happen?

To be honest, most of the time we’re happy the way we are – especially if we’ve had some time to arrange our life the way we want it, and there haven’t been any unexpected hiccups recently. So why should you contemplate change?

Basically, because we’re all “work in progress”. In C. S. Lewis’ colourful image, we’re constantly becoming more heaven-like or more hellish; getting either more or less suited for an eternity with the holy God. Which would you prefer to become?

I know that in myself, I am in no way fit for heaven – nobody is; that’s why Jesus had to come to earth and die in my place. But I find in myself a longing to be more heaven-like than I am; I feel bad when I fail to live up to God’s standards, and it makes me realise how much I need him! I believe that’s God working in me, creating a desire for change that wouldn’t be there otherwise.

How about you? This year, don’t just make random resolutions; instead, ask the Father to reveal to you what he’d like to see change in your life, and then ask the Holy Spirit to give you the desire and the perseverance to see it happen. That is a prayer I’m sure he’ll be delighted to answer!

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From → Christianity, Faith, Jesus

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