(January 11, 2021) Carol Round encourages us to reflect on a major choice for 2021…
Revelation 21:5 declares: ‘He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true”.’
The New Year is here! After the stresses of 2020, I doubt anyone wants to cling to the past. With the turning of the calendar to January 2021, sighs of relief were probably expressed by many.
Have you made any New Year’s resolutions?
While I used to, I don’t anymore. My list used to look something like this: lose weight, eat healthier, save more money, and so on. Those are also some of the more common resolutions made each January 1. (By the way, most people fail at keeping their New Year’s resolutions).
I quit making resolutions as I grew in my relationship with Jesus. Looking back, I cannot recall the last time I made a list of things to change in my life. However, I began to choose a focus word for the year. In the past, I’ve prayed and chosen words like trust, focus, and hope. My 2020 word was embrace – embrace more of God in my life. I would write the word at the top of each page in my daily prayer journal. Each time I do, I was reminded of my spiritual growth word for that year.
Committed to spiritual growth
In a recent morning devotional, the author wrote about Christ making all things new. She quoted a line from her favourite movie, Anne of Green Gables: ‘Tomorrow is fresh with no mistakes in it.’ Don’t you love that line? And what a great reminder!
It means we can start each day with a clean slate. No eraser needed. But that’s what Jesus is all about – making us new. His mercies are new each morning.
However… to grow in our relationship with Jesus and stay rooted in him, shouldn’t we be focused on our spiritual growth? To remain hopeful, to renew our strength, to have the energy to defeat evil, we must do our part.
Growing spiritually requires reflection
What is it about a New Year leading many of us to attempt changes in our lives? Is it the turning of a page on the calendar to the next year prompt us?
With Jesus, we can make changes in our spiritual life any day of the year. Reflecting on our spiritual life means we must be honest with ourselves. Where do we need to grow in our walk with him? We’ll never achieve perfection on earth. Jesus doesn’t expect it, but he does expect us to grow spiritually.
In the same devotional, Gwen Ford Faulkenberry wrote, ‘He’s looking for someone to grow in him, becoming more like him, moment by moment, year by passing year.’ She goes on to challenge her readers to ‘write down and commit to Jesus three areas in which you’d like to grow’ (emphasis mine) and ‘Ask him to make them new.’
After reflecting on where I need to grow spiritually this year, I chose the following:
- To be less judgmental,
- To be more aware of the needs of others, and
- To be less defensive in my reactions to others.
What three areas will you choose to grow in Jesus this year? Reflect… then pray and execute!
Carol Round is an international self-syndicated Christian columnist, author and inspirational speaker. Carol follows her passion of using her writing and speaking abilities to inspire others; Her encouraging articles have appeared in national and international publications such as Assist News Service (www.assistnews.net founded by Dan Wooding) and she especially loves hearing from readers.
Recommended: By Faith Alone. Inside are the musings of a woman who has a heart to know God. Carol Round sees the everyday events of life through the lens of scripture and points out life applications. Each devotional provides inspiration in a thought-provoking, upbeat, down-to-earth, no-nonsense way. Links: A Matter of Faith weekly column: firstname.lastname@example.org / www.carolaround.com. Editorial request: Please pray for Carol as she settles in her new home.