(Bible quotations are from the NIV unless otherwise stated)
1st January 2010
It's far from original to write about New Year's resolutions on the 1st of January, but I'm going to anyway.
There's nothing particularly Christian about making resolutions on this day, but there's no day that's a bad day to make a resolution. A resolution is really an act of repentance. It's a change of mind - that's what "repentance" means - a decision to think differently and, in consequence, to act differently.
We will act according to what we really think, not what we think we think. If you really think that putting your hand in the fire will burn it, then you won't put your hand in the fire. If you really think that being hungry and eating boring food is a price worth paying for losing some weight, then you'll do it. But often we don't really change what we think, we just accept the proposition that it would be good if we did. A Christian recently asked me "why can't I give up smoking?". The only true answer to that is "You can, you just don't really want to.".
There are some addictions which we can't just choose to give up, and we need help. For example, if a regular heroin user just stopped taking it, he could die. But most of our additions and habits stay with us because we don't really want to stop.
Now I must tell you what my resolution is for this new year. And I must admit to you that it's the same as last year. And I must ask myself if I really have changed my mind, and so really will change my actions, or if I'm just playing. It's this:
I will spend more time in prayer in 2010 than I did in 2009.
And I know that I'll need God's help to make this repentance real and lasting, so I'll pray about praying, asking God to help me to pray, and to persist in prayer. Because praying is the most important thing we ever do.