Where do we begin with our resolutions for this New Year and new decade?

One of the most life-giving scriptural concepts — ironically — is that faith without deeds is dead.

Related: Hope and Faith for a New Year

It reminds us that while we believe in our heart there is a spiritual realm and that God is with us, what good is that knowledge if we are doing nothing with it?

The New Year is a great time to ponder where we would like to see our lives in the upcoming year.

As we plan for the usual mile markers — losing 10 pounds, spending more time outside, eating more green vegetables — why not add to this list some ways to increase our faith?

These ideas can strengthen us and challenge us to grow in this seemingly intangible area.

1.) Begin journaling. If you haven’t already taken up this habit, the New Year is the ideal time for it. This is a great way to start or end your day — or even take a much-needed midday break. Journaling allows you time to think through all the heaviness of life, to set goals, to write down things you’re thankful for. Journaling allows time for you to meditate and truly express what is in your heart.

This spiritual practice can strengthen your faith by ensuring that you allow yourself time each day to focus on things outside of yourself — and outside of what is directly before you.

2.) Join a group. There are scores of groups to join, all with a spiritual purpose — weekday breakfast groups, lunchtime coffee meet-ups, or evening and weekend groups. Spending a portion of your time with people who challenge and encourage you can make a big difference in your spiritual life.

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Can’t find something right for you? Take a deep breath and start one yourself! Open your heart and your home to grow in relationships and community with those on a similar spiritual path.

3.) Find a mentor. This is one of the most beneficial steps you can take for personal growth. Even if you yourself are in a position of leadership, there is always space to grow as you learn from those who have a wealth of experience and insight you’ve not yet understood.

This is about being humble — and better understanding your faith journey from those on a similar path.

4.) Commit to serve. Life is hectic and busy. But what if this year, you took time and cleared a day per month or per week to serve? This is not just talking passing out bulletins at church. Get out in the world and serve — be a Big Brother or Big Sister to a kid, or a lunch buddy at a local elementary school.

Join folks serving meals at the local homeless shelter. Commit to visiting with elderly neighbors or running errands for those stuck at home.

The possibilities are many for service. The goal is to help others and commit to serving out of your growing faith that God will supply all your needs.

5.) Be still. This is tough — it requires great discipline. Spending the day in silent meditation is not some “New Age” concept.

It’s a biblical idea that is mentioned in the very first Psalm, verses 1-3: “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on His law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither — whatever they do prospers.”

Take time to be still before God, to meditate on scriptural principles, to grow in knowledge and understanding.

For this New Year of 2020, let’s commit to implementing some new spiritual practices to strengthen our faith. This should be the very cornerstone of our lives.

Author Liz Logan is based in Charlotte, North Carolina. This article appeared earlier in LifeZette and has been updated. 

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