We’re grateful to Kelly for preaching during the Advent Season. He is thus bringing a reflection at the start of the New Year.
Light-hearted “Resolutions” or True Commitments for the New Year?
In last month’s “Pastor’s Pen” Gerhard encouraged us during the “giving season” of Christmas to consider the many gifts we’ve received in 2020 – despite the obvious challenges – and to reflect on the lessons we’ve learned this past year. I would echo that encouragement as we finish this year and begin the new one!
In the U.S., we have a tradition of making New Year’s “resolutions” that are normally goals for self-improvement in the coming year: ending bad habits, eating better, being wiser with our money, etc. In fact, January is the top month for new memberships at gyms/fitness centers! For many people, writing up a list of resolutions is merely a fun or expected “exercise,” but others approach their resolutions in all seriousness.
Unfortunately, good intentions alone don’t lead to changes in behavior! As believers, there are some things we can do to increase the likelihood that we will follow through on our goals for the new year:
- Approach them seriously and prayerfully – what are the areas I think God wants me to work on this coming year?
- Prioritize the most important ones – no more than 5 and focus on those. (If you accomplish all 5 by mid-year, choose 5 more 🙂
- Commit them to prayer – access the power available to us through prayer and the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in our lives
- Share your goals with at least 1 other person for accountability – and give that person freedom to ask you how you’re doing
- Review your progress at least monthly – and make any changes necessary to help you reach your goals.
So intentionally set aside some time before we’re too far into January and review the lessons learned from 2020 (and honestly assess the failures) and establish some clear goals for 2021: personally, professionally, in your marriage and family/parenting, and spiritually (evangelism, Scripture reading and devotional time, prayer, and/or Scripture memorization).
May we all experience growth in our lives in 2021 – individually and as a church family!
Blessed to be a part of BFC with you ~Kelly Fath