… “There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV
At the beginning of each year, we all think about changes we would like to achieve in our lives and view the New Year as an opportune time to effect those changes. We look to the year ahead as a fresh start, a clean slate which brings with it chance to make corrections and adjustments in how we live our lives. Reading the verse above reminds us that the New Year can bring with it a new season in your life but, change requires strength from the Word and diligence on our part!
Most of us look to common changes for the New Year. Things like losing weight, getting more exercise, or maybe eliminating a bad habit from our lifestyle. But I would challenge you to think beyond the commonplace. The New Year is a great time to set fresh goals in a few areas of your life. For example, think about setting some spiritual goals. What are some ways you can improve your relationship with your Lord and creator? It is also a wonderful time to set some family goals, how can you weave tighter the relationships with your family? How can you make the family a singular unit as opposed to separate entities living in a shared dwelling?
Have you ever thought of setting education goals? It is an area we often overlook, yet I believe the Lord wants us to strive to improve ourselves continually. No matter how old you might be there are always means available to stretch yourself mentally. You will find that the more you understand things in His creation, the more respect and awe you have for the things of the Lord. You may never again sit in a classroom but there are plenty of books and educational videos available for our educational growth. Our country has an embarrassing wealth of information available to us and all we have to do is take advantage of it.
Finally, think about setting some financial goals for yourself. Not just more ways to bring more income into your household, but rather the determination to become a vessel through which money flows to those in need. Set goals for getting money through your hands and into the various ministries the Lord has laid on your heart.
These are areas that we all should be thinking about making improvements in for the coming year. But the reality is, if you do not set goals you will never advance to what you hope to obtain. You can’t just hope change into existence, you must make a determination and then act upon that decision. God moves through that kind of commitment.
Your past failures in New Year’s resolutions may indicate that you are incapable of making these kinds of changes in life, but remember that the New Year is a new beginning. It is a fresh start so let go of all the failures and frustrations of the years past. Isaiah 43:18-19 says: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” Move forward with an expectancy this year.
J Todd Hostetler