By: Sheri Owen
It’s a new year. Did you know that 41% of people usually make New Year’s resolutions each year? Well I am one of them. I love making resolutions and setting goals each year. Each year, I have a goal setting session with my staff and my interns at SARA. After these goals are set, I meet weekly with everyone to touch base and see how they are doing. Here at church, our staff is currently working on goals in our weekly staff meetings too. Lance is working with each of us as we establish our goals for this coming year in our individual ministry’s.
But as I was working on all these goals in all my different roles, I started thinking about what my personal goals as a Christian were. Yes, exercising daily, eating healthy and taking time for myself are great but what about my personal goals as a Christian or my Christian New Year’s resolutions. So, I thought I would write these down and share them with you and maybe we could work on these together.
Now, some things to remember when you are making your goals is make them realistic – think big but also make sure they are achievable; set a realistic number so that you don’t get discouraged (I get discouraged easily); make them positive and then enlist help. Once you have set your goals, share them with someone who can hold you accountable.
So here are some of my personal and spiritual goals for the year:
Read the bible daily– I have read the bible from beginning to end but that’s not enough. It’s not a book that you put down when you finish. Read it daily. I have started reading different books of the bible and when something stands out, I write it down on a piece of paper. I carry this with me during the day and occasionally pull it out and read it. This reminds me of God’s word wherever I am.
Pray at the start of my day and at the end of my day– Ephesians 6:18 says And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. This is a quiet time alone where you have a conversation with God. Imagine not being able to talk every day with a family member – that’s how it should be with God.
Witness– This one is scary, I get it. But witnessing could be inviting someone to come to church with you. The worst they could say is no, right? Once a month, I am going to invite someone to join me at church.
Forgive past grudges– this one is hard. But for Christians it’s very clear that you are expected to forgive those who have hurt you. This was a golden rule in our house as we were growing up and my father modeled it all the time. He said that forgiveness may not be fun or easy, but you can do it. He would always quote “… judge, or you too will be judged. – Matthew 7:1. Whenever I try and do something hard, I remember what dad wrote in my Bible many years ago – “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13
Do random acts of kindness– this one is fun and easy if you are willing to be creative. You can choose a certain number to do each month and get your family involved. These could involve shoveling a neighbor’s driveway, running errands for a friend, taking a meal to a sick friend, sending a note to someone, complimenting a stranger and on and on. If you need other suggestions, let me know.
I know I could keep adding to these goals but remember they need to be attainable. The point to remember that whatever you set out to do should be done thoughtfully in prayer. It can be life enhancing and life changing. So, as we continue in the new year, set some goals! Let’s continue this journey together.