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Make or break

Resolution-keepers come clean

Whatever resolutions people may make in life, everyone faces the same choice

NEARLY a week old already, 2018 feels as though it’s whizzing by. But for those resolution-makers who on New Year’s Day vowed to quit an old habit or take up a new hobby, perhaps the time is going a little more slowly. (Cue: ‘You mean I’ve been exercising every day for a week and I’ve not lost a single pound?’)

While many people’s response when they hear the words ‘new year’s res­olution’ is, ‘I never last more than a week’, for some resolute individuals, 2018’s arrival marked the completion of 12 whole months of sticking to last January’s promises.

A quick survey on Facebook revealed that a number of people who made res­olutions at the beginning of last year succeeded in keeping them, including Denise, who wrote: ‘I wanted to get out­side into the Surrey countryside more often and to get fitter. I started running in January 2017 with a group that I still run with. I have got fitter and also discovered some lovely places to run that I didn’t even know existed before.’

Another resolution-keeper was Martin, though he explained that he preferred to think of his goals as challenges that he set for himself not just in January, but throughout the year.

‘I tend to go for lots of challenges, such as reading a book by a new author every month, running a 10k race and reading the whole Bible in a year,’ he said. ‘I do manage to achieve a lot of them.’

While many people spent the past 12 months getting healthier, smarter or better at an activity, others had commit­ted themselves to making changes to their character. Victoria said she had wanted to speak up when she was upset, ‘rather than bottling everything up’. And Lucy ‘decided not to lie about anything’.

‘It’s been tough,’ she revealed, ‘and I haven’t stuck to it perfectly, but it’s been good on the whole.’

Whatever resolutions people may make in life – and on whatever day of the year they make them – everyone faces the same choice. They can stick with their commitment, even when it gets tough, or they can give up and revert to their former ways. It’s a decision they have to consider every day.

Millions of people across the world have resolved to spend their whole life trying to live like Jesus. They strive to love their enemies. They work on show­ing kindness when they don’t feel like it. They forgive those who hurt them, even when it feels difficult. And they do it all because Jesus showed them why it was worth it.

Jesus said that when we commit our­selves to accepting God’s love for us, we are able to receive forgiveness for our mistakes and guidance for our future. He promises us that on difficult days – when we feel hopeless and are tempted to act badly – God will bring us comfort and fill us with strength.

In the Bible, Jesus says that for those who trust in God, ‘all things are possi­ble’ (Matthew 19:26 New International Version). It means we don’t have to feel a failure when we make mistakes, or quit trying when we are less than perfect. Instead, if we keep resolving to follow Jesus we are in for a life-changing experi­ence that will last.

by Claire Brine

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