Here we are again, closing out another year! It’s typical during this time of year where many of us not only reflect on the past 12 months, but take an inventory of our life as a whole. Topics of focus for many may be their finances; getting on top of their debt and starting to save. For others they may decide to work on repairing a damaged relationship. Some may have determined that they can no longer stand their current job so they begin the pursuit of a new career, possibly creating a new resume or taking some classes. Getting healthier usually tops the list and the promise to one’s self that “I am going to lose weight” tops the charts of resolutions! Needless to say gym membership enrollments peek every year at this time.
My challenge to you going into 2013 is take a look at a different kind of weight you need to shed; the heaviness of guilt and burdens we carry around inside us; sins of our past that we can never seem to just release; to LET GO and LET GOD! To let go of these things we must make improving our relationship with our Maker a top priority. By focusing on and building upon our relationship with Christ, our trust and belief that He is here for us and will be our strength deepens allowing us to accept the forgiveness and sense of peace He offers us.
Below are 3 areas I would challenge you to focus on going forward that if practiced I guarantee you will find yourself closer to the one who loves you most; Our Heavenly Father!
1. Schedule Time to Pray – One thing we all have in common is 24 hour days. I know I would love to push it to about 36 hours but unfortunately we cannot “make time”; we can only “manage” the time we are given. The most common excuse we use when NOT getting something important done is “I didn’t have time” or “I ran out of time”. The fact of the matter is if we are honest with ourselves, we DO make time for the things we find important. Our priorities may be messed up but no one has control of your time but you! Setting aside time for you to deepen your prayer life, or for some of us to begin a prayer life, we must realize the necessity and need for prayer in our life and prioritize accordingly. Utilize scripture, at least one scripture a day to help to strengthen your spirit! It is written that the word of God is our sword in the battle against evil! Don’t go out into the world unarmed! You can also utilize your windshield time (drive back and forth to work) to turn off the radio and use this quiet time to speak to God; or better yet, listen! Adequate prayer time is a way to maintain balance and to lift your heart and mind to Christ!
2. Forgive an Enemy – Holding a grudge can be one of the heaviest burdens one can carry and many times we don’t even realize it. The person we are holding on to this anger for in many cases isn’t even thinking about us or the situation therefore this grudge is really only involving one person, YOU! This anger or grudge you hold against another does nothing but bring interruption to your relationship with Christ. If we only look to the”Lord’s Prayer” where we ask God to “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”, we see the importance! It’s the only way we can receive forgiveness. One last thing before I move one to the next area; the one person I want to challenge you to forgive more than anyone is YOURSELF! God forgives us when we admit our faults, but we have a terrible time of forgiving ourselves. Sometimes you just need to hear the words that you are forgiven so here they are: YOU ARE FORGIVEN! Let it go!
3. Comfort the Afflicted – Everything we do has Christians should be directed outward to others; being a reflection of Christ. We all know someone hurting, struggling, doubting their faith and just in need of hope; hope that their lives can be better than it currently is and You, I and Christ know it can be. We just need to reach out to them and be that evidence of hope, of peace and of Christ in their lives they are so desperately wanting, desiring and needing. It’s in reaching out to others we ourselves can begin to see our purpose on this earth, that we can begin to feel Christ working in our lives and through our lives and we can begin making a difference in the world.
Here’s to a Divinely Impactful 2013!