The end of the year and the beginning of the New Year always brings a certain amount of contemplation on the part of most people. It may not last for long or amount to any major changes in an individual’s life, but a new year does cause most to stop and consider, “How could this year be better?” What could I do to be a better person, impact others, make more money, lose weight, or get in shape? What would it take to have a better relationship with my spouse, children, parents, friends, boss, etc.? Or some may even go as far as to ponder, “What do I need to do to have a better relationship with God?”
I have seen some really catchy ways for people to write out their goals for the new year. I must say I like lists, and I do feel as though I accomplish more if I have a list of things that need to get done, especially if they are things that I do not particularly want to do. There is the avenue of writing out the big goals and then making smaller monthly, weekly, or daily goals to accomplish the big goal. This is a proven method that works very well.
As I consider my new year, I have not listed out a bunch of goals for the year. I honestly haven’t decided if I am going to or not. I could write down all the things that everyone else does, but then I wouldn’t have enough time to get them all done. I could dream big and make action steps to fulfill those big dreams by accomplishing the little ones along the way. I suppose, in a way, I am writing this to sort out my thoughts that are whirring around in my head, but haven’t settled out onto anything concrete much less a list or a set of action steps that must be accomplished in order to achieve the big goals.
The big things that happened in most people’s lives didn’t happen because they sat around and thought about it, it happened because they made a plan to do it and then they did it. So the reality of this is if I don’t get off the couch, so to speak, life isn’t going to be different.
So here’s my thoughts. What if I listened to the prompting of the Holy Spirit more? I spend time daily in God’s Word and in prayer. Do I sense the Holy Spirit nudging me or pricking my conscience? Then those seem like actions steps I should follow.
I have been thinking a lot about the tongue. Easy to understand why since I have read Proverbs every day for the past 1.5 years. Proverbs 31:26 says that the “…teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” I cannot very well teach something if I do not know anything about that topic. I want to be such a student of God’s kindness to me that God’s kindness readily flows from my tongue.
People. God created us so we must be important. Am I daily seeking ways to minister to people? Am I a student of others and their needs?
It’s not a fancy list, but it certainly helped me process a few things. In the end, according to I Corinthians 13 if I do all that I do and I do it without love, it profits me nothing. It’s just noise with no melody. It’s actions with no purpose. It’s busyness with no activity. The Holy Spirit and God’s Word can be powerful tools with our tongues and our relationships, the question is – Will we allow that to be the case? A list without love, is simply some scribbles on a piece of scrap paper. My challenge is this: Listen and love well.