by Paula Harrington

Webster’s defines the word, resolve, as coming to a definite or earnest decision about or being determined to do something. How about making it a keyword for 2012?

Realize and accept your mission. God put you here for a reason but you’ll never find it in the world. It can only be found in the Bible. Go and proclaim the good news (Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:15).

Educate yourself. The answer to life’s problems lay in the Word of God. Yet, too many of us refuse to read it for ourselves.

Find a reading plan and stick to it. You can even get one on your phone. YouVersion is not only a free app but offers wonderful plans for all or part of the Bible. It will also read to you as you read.

Stay in the moment. I have a hard time appreciating the moment I’m in. When my kids were little, I wanted them older. Now that they’re older, I find myself missing the younger years. It’s time to focus on the moment and refuse to be discontented.

Omit the unnecessary. Get rid of fear, guilt, shame, and dread. Give it to Jesus. If you suffer from anxiety or depression, seek professional help. You can’t make a positive difference in the lives of others before you make a difference in your own life. Be healthy, physically, mentally, and most of all, spiritually.

Listen more and say less. Stop talking and start listening to your friends, your family, and your God. Remember the words of James, “Be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger” (James 1:19, ESV).

Value yourself. You can lead others to Jesus. Get involved in your congregation. Take care of yourself. Learn to say no and let stress go. Believe that the God who created the Universe knows you better than you’ll ever know yourself and loves you dearly. He is rooting for you.

Evaluate where you are in your walk with Christ. Yes, life is a process and God is constantly working on us but take a second and ask yourself, “Are you where you want to be? Right now? Right here?”

And if not, what can you do to change that? Take responsibility for your actions. Quit blaming others for what life has dealt you and take control of who you are and what you can do.

Since we’re a few days into a new year, let’s begin a new chapter in our lives. Resolve to make a difference. Resolve to grow closer to Christ. Resolve to change the world.

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