“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.” 2 Corinthians 13:5 (NIV)
As is my habit at the start of each year, I’d like to share in this first WordBytes of the year my list of things I learned in 2015. Socrates, the great Greek philosopher stated that, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” A bit strong for me, but what he was inferring was that human life has great value and is worthy of thoughtful inspection.
The Psalmist invited God to examine not only his actions but also the motivation behind them (Ps. 26:2). In the church at Corinth, Paul urged new believers to examine their character and beliefs to insure their continual walk of faith (1 Cor. 11:28; 2 Cor. 13:5). Thoughtful reflection brings great insight into what God is saying to us as we move through life.
Standing now on the backside of 2015, I share my lessons learned.
#1. Be content with such as you have. (Heb. 13:5) Life is short! Enjoy what God is giving you right now versus fixating on what you ultimately desire. Hidden in this teaching is the practice of gratitude. One of Satan’s favorite weapons is to create dissatisfaction with our lives and to turn our focus on “what could be.” Our commerce system thrives on discontent. Instead of complaining about “what isn’t”, we need to spend more time appreciating “what is”—the blessings God is currently providing.
#2. Seek first the kingdom of God. (Matt. 6:33) There’s never enough time to do everything you want to do! Planning and prioritizing won’t always work when the number of tasks exceeds the available hours in a day. Instead I have learned to go to the Creator of time and asked Him to help me identify the “critical few” that will make the greatest impact for the kingdom of God. The lesson for me in this activity is the practice of peace. I am not to worry but I trust in the Lord to lead me in the way I need to go (Ps. 25:4-5) and to establish the work of my hands (Ps.90:17).
I invite you to share what you have learned in 2015 with the ITWM Community. At the bottom of this post, share what you learned in 2015.
Good to the Last Byte…
As you read my list, you will notice that the common theme is time and personal energy—both of which affect our ability to accomplish the purpose that God has designed for us. As you create your goals for 2016, ask God to help you select those activities that would glorify Him and His kingdom. God will then give you both time and energy to accomplish the task.