As we come to the end of one year and the beginning of another, it's a good time to do some self examination. Are you where you want to be in life? Whatever your life is like, are you happy with it? If you could have projected ahead ten years ago, would this be what you wanted your life to become? Are you happy with how your life has played out to this point? If you knew that your life had to remain just as it is now, indefinitely into the future, would you be satisfied? If you faced death tomorrow, would you feel content that your life has been fulfilling, worthwhile, productive? Would others look back on your life and be thankful that you were here and lived the way you did?
Probably, most of us would like to have done better with our lives than what we have done to this point. Most of us would probably like to do better from here on. We can probably come up with all kinds of reasons. For some of us, relationships are not what we want them to be. For others, our financial picture is somewhat shaky. Some of us are not where we want to be in the job market. Still others have some health or physical concerns.
What about your spiritual life? Is it good, rewarding? Is your spiritual life where you want it to be? Are you confident of your eternal destiny? Scripture assures us that we can be, but are you (1 John 5:13)? These are far more profound considerations than those previously mentioned. Again, most of us would probably like to be stronger spiritually than we are. Most of us would probably like to be more spiritually in tune with what God wants us to be. We would like for our spiritual lives to be better.
So, what are you going to do? Will you simply wish you could be stronger spiritually? Will you take a defeatist attitude and conclude that you can't do any better? Will you just put it out of your mind and let another year go by without any positive spiritual development in your life? What will you do?
This is a great time to refocus. Make a commitment today to work on developing your spiritual life this coming year. Commit to being at church services every time they are scheduled that you can possibly make it. Make up your mind that you'll not look for excuses to miss. Commit to reading the Bible through this year (just three chapters a day, most days, will do it). Make time to pray several times every day. Purposefully concentrate and focus on your spiritual life every day. Commit to allowing your life to be directed and governed by the spiritual values laid out in God's word first. Dedicate yourself to this approach to your life for one year, and see if next year at this time you don't feel better about the place your life has gone.
Gary L. Hutchens