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Cross Words: Turning A New Leaf
Quit gambling. Stop drinking. Put the cigarettes down for good. Join a health club. Start eating healthier. Go to church on a more regular basis.  You know the drill. It’s a new year and it’s time for a few resolutions. Or is it?
I made a resolution to myself last year that I wasn’t going to make any more resolutions. They bring about frustration, anxiety and depression just to name a few unsavory emotional pitfalls. I rarely turned the page to February on my calendar before I broke one or all of each of my New Year’s resolutions in the past. So rather than wasting a good couple of weeks stopping or starting something I wasn’t going to continue, I just simply didn’t. Well not anymore that is.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I don’t set goals for myself any longer or that I don’t try to improve certain areas of my life. I just decided to take the pressure off and take things as they come. My new philosophy? Work on today without dwelling on yesterday and without thinking ahead to tomorrow.
I’ve made a great number of spiritual resolutions in the past and I’ve had about as much success with those as I have with my previous New Year’s resolutions. I’ve vowed to pray more each day only to falter at some point, at times even skipping an entire day altogether. Reading the Bible twice in one year? Didn’t quite live up to expectations on that one either. There’s others but I think you get the point by now.
The Apostle Peter drew a line in the sand one day when he stated unequivocally that he would never disown Christ in any way, shape or form (Matt. 26:33). He was determined, dedicated, and devoted to keeping his pledge. He also blew it before the sun came up the following day.
Peter found out and I’m finding out that a change in nature doesn’t just happen over night because we decide it so. It is a long and drawn out process, a lifetime’s worth. One in which we will struggle with and fail at times.
Here’s the kicker though. Jesus knew Peter wouldn’t keep his vow just as He knows that we will not fulfill all of ours. Yet He forgave Peter and He will forgive us. So my resolution for the year (okay I am making one) is to put more faith in what Christ has said He will do and less in what I think or hope I might.

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