Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life. 1 Timothy 6:12

As we close out 2010 there are many thoughts that caress our minds. Some have lost loved ones; others have had major medical problems. Some have changed jobs and others have seen relationships die. Some have made it through the year without any crisis. Others have fared well in spite of crisis. Some have succumbed to drifting and slipping away from truths taught and practiced for so long.

What is the key to longevity? In physical life it is clean living, good genes, healthy habits and care taken. At the relational level it is clean living, good partners, healthy habits and careful living. In the emotional life it is care taken, proper self-control, kindness given and received, emotional outlets that don’t scar and Spirit controlled actions. In our spiritual lives it is all the above plus the following:

Being intentional rather than drifting. God has built us so that we follow the way we set our minds to. Half-hearted commitment will not last beyond ill-advised New Year’s resolutions. Make them January 1 and forget them January 15. The choice must be made with all the heart, soul, mind and strength. Anything less will fade as the year goes by.

Being committed no-matter-what, rather than committed-as-long-as. What does it take to finish the year as faithful servants to Jesus? When the first temptation comes and we fall, it means that we have not really stepped into this new life for Christ. When we choose to miss being with our church family once, it makes it so easy the next time. Many have made a resolution to service but found it easier to make than to keep.

Being in community rather than lone rangers. A branch disconnected from the root will wither and dry. Branches joined together on regular bases will encourage faithfulness and will help us complete the year as faithful to the one who was faithful to us.