Well, here we are. Again! Another new year. It’s time for the well worn clichés. “I can’t believe it.” “Time flies.” And the ever popular, “Where has the year gone?”
But I confess I like January 1. It’s a great way to wrap up the holiday season, and make a fresh start. The new year is a time start over. To begin again. It’s a time for new plans. New goals. New resolutions.
Resolutions are good. It is good to look inside ourselves and see the need for change. For improvement. For growth. Paul commands, “examine yourselves whether you are in the faith.” But we need to realize that examination and subsequent resolve is a serious matter.
The wise man tells us to take our vows seriously. Not to hastily or rashly promise God something we are not willing to fulfill. In fact, he says it is better not to vow something, than to make a vow and fail to follow through. (Eccl. 6:1-2)
With that in mind, consider some things that will help us begin again.
(1) Get a good start. Don’t just flippantly write down some resolutions. Think it over. Make a plan. Develop a method of follow through. Know where you are going. Be excited about goals.
(2) Recognize the three kinds of goals. Resolution, after all, is just another way to set a goal. There are short term goals, long term goals, and there are intermediate goals. If your long term goal for 2012 is to read the Bible through, then figure out short term goals by which you can measure yourself and follow a plan of action. How much will you read today? This week? This month?
Whatever the resolution, there must be daily, weekly and monthly means to measure your progress.
(3) Set a time limit. A goal without a time limit is wishful thinking! Is this goal attainable in a week? A month? By the end of the school year or summer? Is something you want to be able to do before next Fall? Of course, your resolution may have degrees or steps in which you continue to work on a virtue. It may be a life long pursuit. But still you need some way to check your progress.
(4) Stay focused. It is easy to lose concentration. To get distracted. To become bored with the daily routine. Like Paul, keep your eye on the goal (Phil 4:13).
(5) Pray. Ask for God’s help, guidance and strength. He cares. ( I Pet. 5:7) My friend Dee Bowman says, “A goal without prayer is like bread without butter—rather dry.”
(6) Enlist support of others. Find fellow Christians who share your interest. Ask for their help. Share each other’s load.
Most of all don’t be afraid to begin again. Peter did. Paul did. I have. So can you. Happy New Year, everyone!
2 responses to “Beginning Again”
Hey Ken, thanks for posting this. It’s strange that in a day where virtually anything can be found online, it’s uncommon to find something truly useful. This is an inspiring post. I RESOLVE to put your advice into practice, eh, soon… I promise!
You’re welcome Luke! And thank you for your encouraging words. I’m excited about this new venture and the possibilities that it has for good. Happy New Year to you and Allison! God bless