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Pantagraph

In my files, I came across a wonderful illustration of a woman who called her parents to wish them happy new year. Her dad answered the phone and she asked him, “Well, Dad, what’s your New Year’s resolution?” He answered, “To make your mother as happy as I can all year.” Then, talking to her mom, she asked, “What’s your resolution, Mom?” She fired back, “To see that your dad keeps his New Year’s resolution.”

Wouldn’t our lives be easier if we had someone who made sure that we kept our resolutions? Sounds good to me. After all, most resolutions made around the new year have been made because people want to do things better and improve the parts of their lives that need improvement. Some are of a spiritual nature, involving a commitment to study God’s word more or to worship the Lord Jesus more frequently. Others are about changing personal habits like a better diet or more exercise.

No matter what the resolutions, wouldn’t most people want someone to hold them more accountable to make sure that they do what they resolve to do? I believe so. Some of us have that help. Pastors, teachers, mentors, accountability partners, life coaches, or trainers — these people can help folks to keep the resolutions they have made.

So, how resolved are you to follow through with taking advantage of the new year to make some changes in your life? If you are, and I’m coming at this from a spiritual standpoint, look for two things: first of all, be determined in the Lord knowing that God wants you to succeed. In Romans 8:31, the Apostle Paul was led to write, “If God is for us, who can ever be against us?” We can’t lose, right?

Secondly, connect with someone to encourage you along the way. A spiritual mentor can be a wonderful blessing to help us through our weaker moments, distractions, and greatest spiritual challenges. We don’t have to face life alone, and we can be blessed on the journey.

And let there be no doubt, God wants to get us safely home to heaven. As Paul shared later in Romans 8:38, “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love.” Resolved, all the way to heaven.

Wirsing is the senior pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Bloomington, Illinois. Contact him at tcw1@trinluth.org.