An Eternal Resolution
by Robin Swoboda-Wagner
Ask my editor, Jon Hanna, or his wife, Christine, and they will tell you that I am a procrastinator with a capital P.. Every year my New Year's resolution is that I will stop procrastinating. Of course I wait until June to make my list of resolutions but the "P" word is always at the top. "It's just my nature," I tell myself. "My Mom's a procrastinator and so am I." In fact, I was born two weeks late so it was my first personality trait. My husband Bryan and I went to a Christian Athlete's conference one year and two men did a seminar on personality types. We all were instructed to check the adjectives that described ourselves. All the words were listed under four different letters- L, G, B and O. I had one or two checks under the L and G, none under the B and every single word under the O was checked off. I couldn't wait to see what it all meant.
Maybe I should have. Before I proceed, please understand I'm putting this information in the most simplistic form. The L stood for the Lion personality type. Fierce, strong, protective. Someone who calls a wrong a WRONG and doesn't back down. The G stands for Golden Retriever. This person is loyal to a fault. They will always be there for you even if you mistreat them. The B is the Beaver who alphabetizes her spices and hangs every tool in his garage in graduating order and more often than not has a tennis ball hanging from fishing wire to show exactly where the car should be parked. This person is very, very organized (Remember I had NOT ONE of these traits). Now we get to my initial and Gary Smalley begins by saying, "The O stands for Otter and the Otter is a party waiting to happen! These people are late for everything but they're fun when the finally get there. Don't depend on them for anything but fun." Ouch, that hurt. It rang true then and it still does to this day but my, how far I've come.
The biggest change in my life didn't occur from a New Year's Resolution but with a personal commitment to Jesus Christ when I acknowledged Him as my Lord and Savior. You see, I knew that I was not a good person. I thought fame and fortune would make me happy but I was wrong. I thought expensive jewelry and fur coats would make me happy but I was wrong. I thought the right relationship with the right man would make me happy but I was wrong. I thought astrologers and New Age crystals would give me the answer to what would really make me happy but I was wrong. Finally, out of desperation basically, I picked up a Bible and began to look for answers there and that's when Jesus Himself knocked on the door to my heart, told me He had paid the price for my sins and promised me I was a new creation. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting man's sins against them." 2 Corinthians 5:17-19. And oh, sinful I was. We all are. Don't believe the lie that man is good. Man can do good things but original sin is with us from the moment of our birth, from the moment we are conceived. Good and evil cannot cohabitate. Praise God that He found a way to reconcile us to Himself for God is Holy, Pure and Righteous and that's what we can become through the blood of Jesus Christ.
"You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." Ephesians 4: 22-24.
New Year's resolutions won't change you the way God wants to change you. Accepting that Christ died in your place for your sins is the first step to a glorious eternity. Stay your old sinful self and God's word says, "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit (God), from the Spirit (God) will reap eternal life." Galatians 6: 7,8
I praise God that He has given you and me a way out. After accepting the free gift of eternal salvation, only then can we begin to act like a true new creation but only by His grace and with His help. His word says, "Kill, then, what is earthly in you; sexual sin, uncleanness, passion, evil lust and greed, which is idol worship; these are bringing down God's anger. Once you also practiced them when you lived in them. But now also get rid of all such things as anger, rage, malice, slander and dirty talk. Don't lie to one another, seeing that you have put away your old self and its ways and have put on the new self, which is continually renewed in knowledge to be like Him who made him. Colossians 3:6-10
When you are a follower of Jesus Christ, every day is New Year's Day because you know the key to true joy and the life-changing truth of God and His mercy. "But I recall one thing and so find hope: The Lord is gracious; we're not completely wiped out because His mercies haven't come to an end; they are new every morning—great is Your faithfulness. I can say the Lord is my portion; that's why I find hope in Him. The Lord is good to those who have confidence in Him, to anyone who seeks Him." Lamentations 3:21-25
Seek Him my friend. He is all you'll ever need!
Robin Swoboda-Wagner is available to speak to your group, ministry or at your special event. Call 1-800-471-9673 for more information.