Q: I was rummaging through my desk the other day, and I ran across the list of New Year's resolutions that I'd made this year.
I had to laugh, because I haven't kept a single one of them. Why do we have such a hard time becoming better?
A: It's not wrong to want to become a better person, nor is it wrong to set goals for ourselves -- not unless we're doing it for the wrong reasons or in the wrong ways. The Bible says, "Let us throw off everything that hinders. ... And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us" (Hebrews 12:1).
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Often, however, the goals we set for ourselves (whether at the beginning of a new year or some other time) are unrealistic, or are only wishful thinking. We also don't develop any plans for reaching them. But we also face a deeper problem: even when our goals are good, and we know how to reach them, we still fail -- as you have discovered.
Why is this?
The reason is because we don't have the moral and spiritual strength within us to do what's right. Even the Apostle Paul had to say, "I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do -- this I keep on doing" (Romans 7:19). This is why we need God's help, for only He can give us the strength we need to live the way we should.
Ask God to help you discover His goals for your life -- beginning with your commitment to Jesus Christ. Then turn to Him each day, and seek His help to become the person He wants you to be. The Bible says, "Therefore, as God's chosen people ... clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience" (Colossians 3:12).
Send your queries to "My Answer," c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 877 2-GRAHAM, or go to billygraham.org.