We are officially 10 days past the New Year. Statistics say that about half of Americans made some kind of New Years resolution. If you were part of the half who made a resolution, how is it going? Even if you did not make a New Years resolution, here are some thoughts to guide you as you think about your goals for 2014.
1. You can’t get time back
It is interesting how similar some of my 2014 goals are to my 2010 goals. What happened? Why haven’t I just accomplished those and moved on to new goals? I will tell you what happened: Life. There are tons of things that will steal your time, distract you from your intentions and rob you of what God has for you. Time is the great equalizer. We are all given the exact same amount every day and it passes at the exact same rate for each of us. What will you do with yours?
Ephesians 5:15-16 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. (ESV)
2. Relationships last
I remember one of my mentors who pastored a church for a long time sitting down with me and telling me that, “You can’t get love from your church (insert work, business, investment etc). You experience love from the people that you actually have relationships with.” It is the relationships that actually last. Spend your time investing in those relationships that will last. The “to do” list will never be totally crossed off, the inbox will always have unread messages, there is always some other task that could be completed or accomplishment to be attained. What will matter is not simply what you accomplished, but who you accomplished it with.
1 John 4:7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. (NIV)
3. Internal transformation is eternal
Like many of you, I have some physical goals for this year. I ate too much and exercised too little during the holiday season. However, let me remind you of what Paul told Timothy:
1 Timothy 4:8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. (NIV)
A lot of time and money will be spent on diets, exercise and other external improvements this year. What if, we invested some of the time that will be spent on diets and exercise on something that produces far greater results? What if we invested some time on our internal transformation through spiritual disciplines like reading God’s Word, prayer, time with other believers talking about things that matter, silence, contemplation, confession, repentance, meditation? These things will make a difference both in the present and in the life to come.