Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves.
2 Corinthians 13:5
Another year ends. A new year dawns. New Year’s day marks the end of the holiday season: kids head back to school, businesses and families resume normal schedules. For many, it’s the time for “New Year Resolutions.” I’m not particularly big on resolutions (although I am planning on going on a diet after all the holiday eating!), but I am big on regular times of self-examination, especially as it relates to our relationship with our God. The beginning of the new year provides the opportunity for each of us to take a look at our relationship with our God, our spiritual disciplines, like prayer, Bible reading, worship, devotional reading… It’s easy for us to deceive ourselves: to think we’re doing better, are closer to God than we really are; to base our evaluation on where we used to be, not where we are right now. Its hardly ever about our intentions: they are usually good. But it is about actuality: are we spending time daily in prayer? Reading God’s Word? Is our time in prayer rushed, brief, and superficial, or are we spending time in personal reflection and meditation? Are we spending time in silence, listening for the voice and leading of our God? Are we making our spiritual growth a priority, making it part of our calendars, or are we simply trying to fit God into our already busy schedules? I say it all the time: we never drift towards God: unless we are intentional and make our relationship with God a priority, we will drift away from Him. That is a certainty. Let me encourage you in the days ahead, to take some time to evaluate your relationship with your God, and to make some resolutions, plans to deepen it. As we do, our new year will indeed lead to joy. Happy New Year!