This time of year I take some time to reflect over this past year and resolve to grow and improve.
2 Peter 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
2 Timothy 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
Both these Bible verses challenge us to grow, to improve, to be better, to make some progress. It is a blast to grow and see that you have improved; the scales revealing the victory of lost pounds, the interactions with others showing Jesus’ character of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (see Galatians 5:22-23). It is the joy of getting it right, doing well, overcoming the constant pull of mediocrity, and the relentless temptation to go the opposite way from God. The win of growth and improvement is sweet.
Now, sure it takes effort and many times trials (see James1:1-5). As well, it takes discipline, thought, planning, sacrifice, and some sweat-equity. But it is well worth it for the journey of growth and improvement is just as valuable as the results.
As I reflect over a past year I ask myself some questions:
- What were some of the big insights I gained about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit this past year?
- What were some of the realities I learned about myself this past year?
- Of the aspects of the character traits listed in Galatians 5:22-23, how would I rate myself, how would others rate me, and most importantly how would The Lord rate me?
- What ways did I reflect Jesus well in my relationships?
- What were some of my great accomplishments this past year?
- What were some of my defining moments this past year?
- What were a few of my slip-ups this year?
- What goals will I continue or bring into 2014?
In light of the responses to these questions and asking God to reveal His plans for my growth and improvement, I consider the following as I make my goals or resolutions for 2014:
- How will I be more like Jesus?
- How will I love more like Jesus?
- What books, seminars, and mentors will I consult to grow?
- What efforts will I make to grow intellectually?
- What initiatives will I take to sharpen my skills, gifts, and abilities?
- What efforts will I make to initiate growth in my marriage, family, and friendship relationships?
- What physical/health goals will I make?
- What leisure, fun, play, recreation, and adventures will I plan?
- What will I let go of, forgive, or surrender this year?
- What will I give away this year?
- How will I be more generous this year?
It has been said, “If we aim at nothing, we will hit it every time.” Why not take some time with the Lord to reflect over 2013 and together, set some goals to aim at for 2014. It may be just what you need to make 2014 an amazing year.
Seeking to reflect and set some resolutions with you for 2014,