Starting a Spiritual Resolution
by Rev. Tom Gray
Most New Year’s resolutions deal with getting rid of something you do by habit. Typical resolutions are for things like stopping smoking, going on a diet, or saving more of your money. None of these is bad, but I’d like to suggest something spiritual as a resolution for 2017.
All of us have deep spiritual concerns that, once addressed, can strengthen our whole being. We all have inner, spiritual battles that require spiritual strengthening. Most of us are troubled to some degree with ideas that conflict, memories that still burden us with pain, spiritual or relational failures that crowd out any sense of peace. Such things, left to accumulate, can attack your spirit.
Start some new habits. A new year is a good time for a deep, spiritual examination of how you’ve been living. First, you have to name what ever it is that is burdening you. Second, lift that up to God in prayer. Confession is always good for the soul. Third, start putting more good stuff into you heart and mind.
My own practice in this is confessing my sins and shortcomings. I also seek to be informed and uplifted as I read Scripture. The Psalms are wonderful for examining your spirit. The Gospels are essential for finding new hope. I’d recommend Matthew. Some of Jesus’ teachings on prayer, forgiveness, and restoration are there, particularly in chapters 5 and 6.
Start today. You may find your spirit becoming stronger and better able to face and overcome the physical habits and concerns that usually make up our New Year’s resolutions.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled. (Matthew 5:6)