Almost everyone I know was excited to start 2021. People like the opportunity the New Year offers: a chance to start afresh. New goals, new hobbies, and a new year.
While making goals for the new year, I read something that shed some light on my goals. Lydia Brownback, in her book Flourish, asks a pointed question:
“Are we pursuing personal change in order to enrich our walk with God and to shine a better light on the gospel, or are we basically just dissatisfied with ourselves?”
Her words struck my conscience. I say I want to “grow closer to God”, but instead I often make Bible reading goals just so I can feel better about myself around Christian peers. I’m learning that a desire to know God must be at the heart of all my Christian living resolutions (and all my goals for that matter).
For more about making knowing God the object of your quiet time, check out 10 Practical Tips for Reading God’s Word Consistently.
Later in the chapter, Brownback makes another statement that made me take another look at my goals.
“Unreached goals can keep us at the center of our world and hold the needs of others at bay.”
I sometimes take a sort of pride in feeling guilty over wasting time on YouTube, but I don’t always make a real effort to avoid it. It keeps me busy and caught up with myself. After I waste time, my thoughts aren’t on what I can do for other people but how I can make myself feel better. I make lists of self-improvement goals, but Brownback’s words made me think some of my goals should focus on someone other than myself.
Even though were already two days into the year, I challenge you to make one goal that focuses on someone else. For me, I found I need a way to remember everything God has done in my life and in the lives of others, so I started a thankfulness wall. I need habits that make me think of someone other than myself, so I’m starting with the simple habit of thankfulness.
I know this isn’t the message most people post at the beginning of the year, but I think it’s important.
I hope you all have a wonderful year and a great finish to your Christmas break!
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