Weekly Devotional

WEEKLY DEVOTIONAL – Year-End Reflections

Christmas, as we know it, is over. Though the Christmas trees, lights, and decorations are still up in some homes and places, psychologically, we have shifted our minds and thoughts toward the coming new year. With one week between both celebrations, it is also a time of reflection for some of us. Reflecting on what was, what wasn’t, and what could have been. With the benefit of hindsight, there is probably so much we wish we could go back and do differently. The people we hurt that didn’t deserve it, the things we said and did that we shouldn’t have, the things we didn’t say and do that we should have, and so much more. Yes, reflecting is essential. To borrow words attributed to Socrates, “the unexamined life is not worth living.”

While there are some things that we can and should do to make amends for what we should have done differently, the start of a new year also provides an excellent opportunity for us to reset. According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, to reset is “to set again or anew.” In other words, as we close out one year and look forward to the next, God willing, we can lay aside the dysfunctional attitudes and behaviours along with the negative thinking that hindered us and commit to starting anew. That might involve getting the necessary spiritual and/or professional help to move past certain mindsets, but it can be done. For some of us, starting anew means putting God in His rightful place in our lives. Remember, if He is not Lord in all areas of our lives, He is not Lord at all.

Of course, putting God in His rightful place in our lives is much easier said than done. There are many distractions, but Jesus showed us it could be done. According to Matthew, “Next Satan took [Jesus] to the peak of a very high mountain and showed Him the nations of the world and all their glory. ‘I’ll give it all to you,’ he said, ‘if you will only kneel and worship me.’ (Matthew 4:8-9, TLB). That was the best Satan had to offer! However, Jesus told him, “Get out of here, Satan . . . the Scriptures say, ‘Worship only the Lord God. Obey only Him'” (v. 10). Satan never gives anything without strings attached. Every time we take something from him, he takes something from us in return. It often starts with our allegiance to God.

So, as we soon cross over into the new year, let us take the words of the psalmist with us: “Unless the Lord builds a house, the builders’ work is useless” (Psalm 127:1a). This principle applies whether it is a career, a marriage, a relationship, a life. Bible scholar Joseph Benson puts it this way, “The success of all our undertakings depends so entirely upon God’s blessing that it is in vain to attempt anything without it.” I cannot think of a better thought that is worth reflecting on as we say goodbye to 2022 and welcome 2023. Whatever you do, put God first.

To you and yours, a blessed and God-centered Happy New Year!

 

About the author

Colin Wilson

Easy going, dislike negativity, and an optimist. I believe that amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday living, each day is a gift from God and if we stop and think about it, there is at least one thing for which we ought to be thankful. In addition, I believe that every day is a great day to be alive. No matter how bad we think we have it, there are any number of people who are on the "other side" who, if they could, would gladly trade places with us. Email me at [email protected]