“an unexamined life is not worth living” ~Plato
For years I have loved this quote, and honestly, I think that making a habit of reflecting and re-evaluating has been crucial to our personal development and spiritual growth. It’s hard to grow or meet goals without reflecting and evaluating.
As we close out the year and prepare for a new year, here are some great questions to ask yourself, journal about, and even discuss with your inner circle peeps. Oftentimes, they will see an area of strength or weaknesses that we might not otherwise catch.
Remember to do this with a posture of mercy, grace and humility. God’s first response to our mistakes is mercy. If you’ve done really poorly in an area, repent, ask for God’s grace to help you do better, get up and go on. If you have done great in an area, Praise God for his help there and make sure to keep a teachable and pliable attitude. God is even more invested in your growth than you are, and He is committed to see it through to the finish. Also know that God longs to speak to you through His Holy Spirit, our counselor. He longs to give you encouragement, correction, direction, and strength.
1. Do I know Jesus better now than I did a year ago?
This is honestly the most important question that I ask myself. If the answer is yes, then I will ask the Holy Spirit how I can press in more. If the answer is “no” then I’ll repent and ask how I can do better and establish a specific plan.
2. Am I loving the people around me better?
Jesus boiled all of the law down into two basic commandments: love God and love people. If we fail to grow in either area, it will hinder our spiritual progress and ability to reach people for Christ. How well am I loving and serving my husband? How well am I loving and training my child? My family and friends? Am I listening to the guidance of the Holy Spirit about how to love strangers I meet?
3. Am I stewarding what I have well?
“The one who manages the little he has been given with faithfulness and integrity will be promoted and trusted with greater responsibilities. But those who cheat with the little they have been given will not be considered trustworthy to receive more” Luke 16:10 TPT
If I desire to be trusted with more, I need to honestly evaluate how faithful I have been with what I already have.
I like to evaluate each of the following areas:
Physical Body- am I doing the best I can, with the resources I have, to put good things in and on my body and exercise consistently?
Finances-Am I tithing faithfully and budgeting every month? Are we being led by the Holy Spirit in our financial decisions?
Home-Am I cultivating an atmosphere of peace and joy?
Job-do I do my work as unto the Lord? Am I intentionally getting better at what I do?
Talents and Passions-have I learned more and grown in my abilities? Am I investing into growth? Am I faithfully pursuing my God given dreams?
4. Could I realistically keep up at the pace I am going for 10 years and still live a healthy and obedient life?
I truly believe that being over-committed and not having enough margin in our lives is one of the main contributors to burnout. Yes, there will be seasons that are fuller than others, but overall our pace should be sustainable for the long-haul.
5. Am I using my God given gifts and talents in a way that brings glory to His kingdom?
Strength is for service, not for status. If I am good at something I should be using it to serve others whether that is in business or volunteer work. Each one of us has been given something that is integral to the Kingdom of God, if we don’t use it for His glory then everyone misses out.
At the end of the day, progress is still more important than perfection.
No one, and I mean NO ONE is going to be able to answer all of these questions perfectly, and that’s ok. The point here is to slow down and notice. See an area that needs some more attention? Set a specific goal for next year that addresses it, and check back in a few times throughout the year to see how you’re doing. We believe in you, and we are here to help.
So tell us, what are some things you hope to improve on in the new year?