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I Resolve

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Millions upon millions of people wake up on Jan. 1, bound and determined to change some aspect of their lives. If you were to ask those same people what resolutions they made last year and whether or not they accomplished them, what do you think their responses would be? An article I read recently lists the failure rate of New Year's resolutions at 92 percent. Roughly nine people out of 10 will not be able to follow through on what they said they wanted to achieve.

Why should this alarming 92 percent failure rate be of any concern to us? It is interesting to note why people failed at what they wanted to change. The top three reasons given for failing were procrastination, lack of discipline and no game plan. You see, while these people may have been very sincere about what they wanted to do or change in their lives, it did not turn into prolonged action and, in turn, results.

Those three reasons are also avenues that will deter us from the spiritual growth we seek in our lives. They are all enemies of a focused, convicted individual, and they tear at the very fabric of the character we are building.

The parable of the 10 virgins in Matthew 25 illustrates a condition of those who would fall prey to this losing combination. Notice Matthew 25:2 where five are referred to as foolish.

Why were they foolish? They procrastinated, they lacked discipline, and they had no game plan. The five who were wise did not let the three enemies adversely affect them. They produced changed behavior. Like them, we must make the determination to follow through on what has been appointed to us as God's firstfruits.

Notice Proverbs 21:5, "The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty."

What a meaningful verse, especially in light of these three enemies! The first part of the verse is the direct opposite of procrastination, lack of discipline and no game plan. It speaks of knowing where we are going and what we are doing. It is a frame of mind that is set on self-discipline and diligence rather than hasty resolution making. The end result is a condition that leads to blessings and fulfillment in our spiritual lives. UN