Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year everyone! For me this is a special time of year. It’s always a fresh start, with new opportunities just around the corner.

In December 2010 Telegraph columnist Sarah Abell described her New Year’s resolutions: “Lose two stone and the wobbly bit around my middle. Get fit and maybe even run a marathon (how you would laugh at that one if you knew me better). Learn to speak Spanish. Save more or make more (preferably both). Spring-clean my cupboards, house, finances and… life in general. Be a better wife, mother, daughter, relative and friend. Re-write my will and review my pension. Put my photos in albums (not done since I was 19). Take up ironing, read better books, play more golf and visit art galleries. Be more organised (especially with my filing) and become a much more patient, kind, lovely and charitable person.”

I wonder whether she achieved her goals? To fulfil our resolutions we need to be resolute, determined and to persevere. We’re more likely to be successful if we only make one resolution, breaking it down into easy steps with a deadline for each one; then tell a friend what we’re doing and not give up if we face set-backs.

At the end of Sarah Abell’s list was to “become a much more patient, kind, lovely and charitable person.” These are things that are difficult to achieve by self-effort alone. Changing oneself on the inside becomes much easier when we co-operate with our Creator. It’s always been His passion to see us grow and develop as individuals; to see those qualities of patience, kindness and love flow out of our relationship with Jesus; to grow in His love and to become more like Him. It’s only in that relationship that we can have a genuinely fresh start, with power to break old habits, and our past forgiven and forgotten.

This year let’s resolve to grow closer to Jesus, and to allow Him to satisfy our spiritual thirst. Many of us talk to God while we go about our daily lives, but let’s decide to sit down with Him for 5 minutes each day, not only to offload, but also to be still and listen. The Creator of the Universe is longing for you to get to know Him this year, and it all begins with prayer.

“Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you.”
James 4:8

 

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