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This article was published January 1, 2013 at 3:39 a.m.

— DEAR REV. GRAHAM: My grandmother says she isn’t going to make any New Year’s resolutions this year, because she never can keep them. But I think it’s still a good idea, even if some of them end up in the wastebasket. Do you think New Year’s resolutions have any value?

  • E.L.

DEAR E.L.: Most New Year’s resolutions, I’ve discovered, aren’t really resolutions at all - they’re only wishes (and often aren’t realistic).

What’s the difference? When we make a resolution about something, it means we’re determined to do something about it - that is, we resolve to take definite steps to make it happen. But a wish is usually nothing more than a vague hope that somehow things will change - without any plan to make it happen. You may wish you’d lose some weight, for example - but unless you make a plan to exercise more and control your diet, it probably isn’t going to happen.

It’s good at the beginning of a new year (and throughout the year) to examine our lives, and then resolve - with God’s help - to live the way he wants us to live. The Bible says, “The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception” (Proverbs 14:8). God loves us, and his way is always best.

Don’t just make a random list of changes you’d like to see take place in your life. Instead, ask God what he wants to do in your life during this coming year. Then commit your way to Jesus Christ, and take specific steps to follow him. Don’t rely on yourself, however; seek his help - for apart from him your efforts will fail. The Bible says, “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and ... He will make your righteousness shine” (Psalm 37:5-6).

Write to Billy Graham in care of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C. 28201 or visit the website at

Style, Pages 28 on 01/01/2013




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