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Should I bother with New Year's resolutions?

By Billy Graham, Tribune Content Agency on

Q: I've decided I'm not going to make any New Year's resolutions this year. I've always made a long list of changes I plan to make in my life, but then I never keep them, and I just end up feeling guilty. So why bother? -- Z.C.

A: I suspect many readers have had the same experience; it's much easier to make a list of things we wish would happen to us -- and much harder to actually do them. Even the Apostle Paul admitted that "I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do -- this I keep on doing" (Romans 7:19).

What is the problem -- especially with the resolutions we often make at the beginning of a new year? Sometimes, I've found, the problem is that some of our resolutions simply aren't realistic. Instead, they are only wishful thinking -- and they'd never come true, even if we had the inner strength to attempt them. Other resolutions may sound good -- but we have no practical plan to carry them out, and as a result they fail.

But the deeper problem is within ourselves: We lack the inner moral and spiritual strength we need to change our lives. And that's why we need Christ, because only He can show us how our lives need to be changed, and only He can begin to change us from within by His Spirit.

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The most important resolution you can make as another year approaches, however, is this: to open your heart and life to Jesus Christ, and commit your life to Him. Don't waste your time on resolutions that don't ultimately matter; resolve instead to live for Christ. The Bible says, "In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind" (John 1:4).

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(Send your queries to "My Answer," c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit the Web site for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association: www.billygraham.org.)

(c)2017 BILLY GRAHAM DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.





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