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Keeping your New Year's resolutions

Have you kept your New Year's resolutions so far? It's only been a week, but many have already given up. Most have not actually consciously given up, they have merely let things slide a little from their original intent. We often make such grandiose plans and goals and then life hits us. You have unexpected company, you get the flu, your car breaks down, you stay up too late, you yield to some temptation that keeps you from reaching your goal.

At first you convince yourself that it is merely a temporary set back. Then you fail again and you feel really rotten about yourself. You try one more time only to fail again and by now you have decided that you just don't have what it takes, so you let yourself slide back into the old routines. Instead of taking control of your life, you let circumstances take control of you. You play defense, just trying to get by but never winning. Sad to say, this will be the testimony for most of us by mid March.

However, it doesn't have to be this way. Proverbs 24:16 tells us the difference between a righteous man and a wicked man. It says, "For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again, but the wicked shall fall by calamity." Both the righteous person and the wicked person fall. Falling and failing is part of life. The difference is that the righteous man, though he keeps on falling, each time picks himself back up again. So, let me take this opportunity to encourage you not to give up. Yesterday is over. Today is a new day. You cannot live on yesterday's successes or failures.

The Bible says that the blessings of the Lord are new every morning. God wants you to live in the newness of this day. The Apostle Paul gave us a key to victory in life, "Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to the things which are before." (Phil. 3:13) Yesterday you may have blown it. Confess it, admit it, choose to pick yourself back up, choose to repent - in other words choose to walk in a different and better way - learn from it, and then forget it and move forward.

I find myself very weak in these areas. I realize that I do not do very well on sheer will power alone. I need help. Ecclesiastes 4:9, 10 says, "Two are better then one ... For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him who is alone when he falls for he does not have anyone to help him up." Remember, we are all going to fall. That's why you need to have a partner or at least someone to hold you accountable. This is true in your exercise and diet program as well your spiritual growth and development.

Share your goals with a trusted friend and promise each other to work together in meeting those goals. One reason the Bible commands us to gather together is so that we might check up on each other to see how we are doing. Take advantage of community in reaching your individual goals and in keeping your New Year's resolutions. You will find that two or three really are better than one.