As we near the last three months of the year, our focus often turns toward year end wrap ups and goals for the future year. Amidst our planning and strategizing let’s not forget to utilize the wisdom of God’s word to finalize our year-end evaluations and guide us into the new year’s goals. One way we can do that is to ask ourselves four questions:
Did 2021 count for something eternal?
We are reminded in Acts 20:24 that our greatest purpose is to faithfully complete the ministry we have received from the Lord and thereby testify to the gospel of the grace of God. What things did you do that furthered the ministry of the gospel of grace? Did you have an eternal mindset as you lived out your gifts and talents? Did you contribute physically and financially to the work of the Kingdom?
Life is about more than just temporary success. It is about eternal significance.
Did I abide in Christ?
Jesus says in John 15:4-5 that the only way we can bear lasting fruit is to abide in Him. When Mary and Martha were hosting Jesus, Martha got completely caught up in the logistics of serving Jesus and neglected the most important component – abiding at the feet of Jesus for life instruction and relationship (Lk 10:42). Did you take time to seek wisdom and guidance from God’s word before going out into the business and busyness of life?
Did I focus on what is important rather than trying to be important?
One of the biggest traps of success is self-importance. Jesus demonstrated one of the greatest qualities of a leader by serving. His goal was not to bring recognition or importance to Himself, but to the Kingdom of God (Mt 20:28). In John 7:18, He says, “Whoever speaks on their own, does so to gain personal glory. But he who seeks the glory of the One who sent him is a man of truth. There is nothing false about him.” Our mission in life is to point people to the grace and glory of God in our lives. We do that through fulfilling the calling He has placed on us in work and ministry. In your leading and serving were you careful to live in a manner that showcased the glory of God rather than your own (Eph 5:15-16)?
Did I give careful attention to my character and imitate the character of Christ?
Paul exhorts us to conduct ourselves in a manner that is worthy of the gospel of Christ in humility, patience, striving for unity, and bearing with one another in love, and serving (Phil 1:27, Eph 4:1-3, Lk 22:27). What did that look like in your leadership at work and at home?
As you delve into 2022 with anticipations of new beginnings and greater success, keep these questions at the forefront of your mind as a guide for a successful new year.