As this year slowly comes to an end, we’ll hear of parties, resolutions and celebrations of a new beginning. “Happy New Year!” will ring throughout the streets as people greet each other with smiles. Churches will have Watch Night services, and many people will watch the countdown broadcast live from Times Square in New York. The occasion has become a common event, and most of us treat it as just another day. But let this year be a time of reflection to see exactly who you are in Christ. One year is a good standard of measurement against which to check the progress we’ve made in our walk to be a good Christian example.
As Christians, we are encouraged to examine ourselves to make sure we line up with God’s word. In Galatians 6:3-5, Paul wrote, “For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden.”
God holds us accountable for our actions, so we must examine ourselves to ensure we are doing His will. When God begins to bless some people, they forget to give thanks and honor the one who showed them favor. They think it was their education, networking or financial status that put them in a position of prominence. The Bible simply declares that every good and perfect gift comes from above, and in all things we should give thanks. We must test ourselves to ensure our thoughts line up with our actions and give thanks to God.
One definition of reflection says that it is an effect produced by an influence. What effect has this year had on your life? Are you a better Christian this year than you were last year? Can you see a change in your life? Every tear you’ve cried, every bad relationship and every argument has influenced you. Every good memory, every joyous moment and every great relationship also has influenced you.
I encourage you to look back over this year and see just how blessed you really are. Do a self-examination and strive toward perfection in Christ. If you are alive to read this article, be encouraged because you still have the opportunity to get it right. Happy New Year!
Hayes is the pastor of New Day Outreach Ministry and the president of the United Ministerial Alliance of Liberty County.