With the new year upon us it’s always a time for reflecting on the previous twelve months and making a few resolutions for the year ahead. When we look back we can do so with regret or resolve. We can wallow in our failures or we can learn from them. But most importantly we must be honest with ourselves. When we failed, why did we fail? Sometimes it can be a bad set of circumstances, those unforeseen events that blindside us and set us back. Other times, however, we are primarily responsible for those times we fell short. When looking backward it’s the perfect time to embrace the expression “live and learn.” Don’t waste your mistakes!
When we have been honest with ourselves about the previous year, we are now primed to make plans for the new year. We need to ask questions like these –
What is truly most important in my life? This should not be a long list. It may include your relationship with God, quality time with your family, developing strong friendships, living with integrity, etc. Once you can answer the question of what is most important, then you’re ready to ask a few more.
This past year did I live each day based on what was most important? What kept me from living based on what is truly important? This may be as simple as laziness or lack of commitment on your part or perhaps your current job is out of synch with your values. It’s time to make some hard decisions as to how you can live your life consistently with what is most important; otherwise you will find yourself with a sack full of regrets at the end of 2013.
What will it take to look backward with honesty and forward with resolve? It will take time, prayer, integrity, humility, and dogged commitment. I wish you well as you transition into this new year and I offer you a little friendly advice – It is only as you walk with Jesus daily that you will have what you need to effectively and faithfully deal with the past and embrace the future. Find yourself a good church and be part of it – not just an infrequent attendee. Connect regularly in a small group of believers for encouragement and accountability – this may be a Sunday School class, Bible study, or other small group. And live each day in constant communication with the Lord of life!