By Megan Low, Australia

“I’m sorry, it has taken so long,” says Ichigo, as he faced-off with Renji. “But I’ve finally found it—my resolve.”

These may not be his exact lines in the anime Bleach, but he says something to the same effect. Okay, what does anime have anything to do with the new year?

It’s finally January—the time of the year that often marks new beginnings, and the time to make new year resolutions. Resolve and resolutions, therein lies the link, and the mystery resolved.

Anyone can make a resolution, when they recognize that a need for change is apparent. The trouble is, as I’m sure we’re all aware, they can end up like those leftovers in the fridge we meant to eat up but went bad last week, or that meetup with a friend we were going to arrange two months ago but is still sitting on the to-do-list. It’s all talk but no action. Put blatantly, we lack the commitment and resolve to carry out our resolution.

All of us are desperate to change for the better. But the truth of the matter is: resolutions can be made without any real resolve. So, where can we find the resolve? Firstly, prayer is necessary. As a wise man said, “Don’t get to your feet until you’ve been on your knees.” We need God to convict our hearts, focus our attention, and keep our priorities.

Secondly, we need reminders. Why did we resolve to make the change in the first place? Maybe it’s because we want to kick some bad habits. Maybe it’s an attitude we need to get right before God. It is helpful to recall our initial motivation. Reminders keep us in check and help us stay on course. We can put up tangible reminders on the course of action we intend to take, or Scripture verses that would correct our negative attitudes.

Most importantly, we recognize that on our own, we are powerless. But we are not on our own. Humanly speaking, the change we seek is impossible for us to achieve. But nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37), and God is with us (Psalm 46:11, Matthew 1:23, John 14:26), in us (Galatians 2:20) and for us (Romans 8:31). We need God’s help.

May you and I find our resolve in Christ alone.

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