This is the time of year for resolutions and a bunch will be made over the next 24 hours. Resolutions generally fall into categories of self-improvement, i.e.
“In the new year, I’m going to…
a) do better at ________
b) do more _________
c) do less _________
d) start _________
e) quit __________
f) improve _________
g) change __________
h) finally get around to ____________
Sometimes, resolutions come as a set and involve a combination of the above. It’s a combination of determination, a sense of a settled decision or having a firm purpose regarding a particular issue such as physical conditioning, organization, a habit, relationship or way of life.
The turning of the year is also a good time to reflect on the health of our soul and to plan for growth or improvement there.
Here are some questions to consider for reflection:
+ How would I honestly describe or picture the health of my soul today? How has it substantially changed – positively or negatively—in the past year?
+ Where do I more closely resemble Jesus…or not?
+ What have I learned about God’s character, promises and ways in my journey through of this year?
+ What has been my highest joy in the Lord’s providence in my life this year? What has been most troubling or bitter? What difference have either made in the way I live?
+ Is the gospel of Jesus more or less prominent in my heart?
+ What Scripture has most captured my heart this year and stuck with me in a transforming way?
+ To what degree do spiritual habits (prayer, Bible reading, fasting, worship, silence, etc.) shape the rhythms of my life?
+ How have beauty and artistry stirred my heart God-ward?
+ How have I been personally involved in Jesus’ redeeming mission in my world this year?
+ How is my relationship with and commitment to Jesus impacting my
b) relationships, particularly with family?
d) emotions and affections?
f) choices about how I spend my time?
h) priorities & decision-making?
i) spending, saving and giving?
j) work or school responsibilities?
k) response to the poor?
l) dealing with failure, disappointments and screw- ups of mine – and others?
Here are some questions to consider about resolving to grow your soul in 2010:
+ How will Jesus’ gospel become even more dominant in my soul,my thinking, and my daily life this year?
+ How will I grow my mind this year through wide reading & study through a Biblical lens?
+ How will I more consistently embrace a praying life ?
+ How will I grow in passion in worship—both privately and publicly?
+ How will I nurture the virtues of humility, generosity, gracious speech, forgiveness and peacemaking?
+ How will I pursue the fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control?
+ How will I invite other Christian brothers and sisters to help me grow more like Jesus?
+ How will I serve and love others in my faith-family?
+ How will I use the resources the Lord has given me—gifts & abilities, finances, interests, home, possessions, etc.—for the Kingdom this year?
+ How will I develop genuine relationships with far-from-God people in my world that lead to gospel conversations?
+ How will I serve the least, the poor, the marginalized and forgotten in my world?
+ How do I intend to engage my world (neighborhood, work, school, recreation, social groups, etc) as a missionary for Jesus’ sake?
That’s a start.
Happy new year—and be happy growing in Jesus!