The holidays are upon us. Christmas will soon be here. We’re all wrapped up in getting the right gifts and the right things and go to the right places and be with the right people we want to be with. It’s a busy time of year for a number of people. It’s not the time when we start to think of self assessment. That usually happens after Christmas and before New Years Eve.
For six days, we wonder what we’ll be doing for the next year. What things will be like. How will we live a good life, a right life? How will we be able to live well with our family, with our spouse, with our children, with our friends? And then we make a few New Year’s resolutions and fail to keep them by January 31.
During this time of year, when we’re looking at what we’ll be doing in the next 12 months, I like to point people to Proverbs
“Where there is no vision, the people perish; but he that keepeth the law, happy is he” Proverbs 29:18 KJV
We need a vision for the year. We need a God given vision for what we’ll be doing. What does that mean? What does that look like?
When we look forward to the coming year, we need to have purpose and direction to what we’ll be doing. We need to have something that shows that we know what we’ll be doing. I’m not talking about New Year’s resolutions, I’m talking about a vision, something that will drive you for the next year.
How do you create a vision for the next year? Good question
That’s where self assessment comes in. What have you been doing this year? Take an inventory. How are things with you going professionally? How’s your job? Are you happy where you’re at? When I say happy, I’m talking about fulfilled, feeling like you’re honoring God where you’re at and what you’re doing. How are you doing spiritually? How is your relationship between you and God? You’re relationship with Jesus? Your following the Holy Spirit? How are you doing physically? Are you taking care of yourself health wise? How are you doing emotionally? Are you handling your emotional health well?
Ask yourself these questions. And then ask how can you follow God with your answers. How can you follow God well using what he’s given you, what he’s blessed you with, and with the spiritual gifts he’s given to you (If you’re a follower of Jesus). And then ask how you can follow God in this.
That’s the next part of this verse from proverbs. “He who keepth the law, happy is he.” What this means is that those who keep to God’s word, they are blessed. The word for happy here is also the word for blessed. There is a blessing when we keep to God’s word. When we follow it.
How can you stay in God’s word this coming year? And if you’re saying your spiritual but not into this whole Jesus thing, try it out. Try reading scripture. Start with Mark and go from there. If the New International Version is a bit not your style, try the New Living Translation instead. But try it for this year. Just one chapter of Mark a day, 16 days. That’s all.
But you need a vision. You need to have direction in what you’re doing, in where you’re at, in how you think and act. When you take a self assessment, you can then ask where God is leading you for the next year. And when you do, actually write it down. Write down this vision idea in a sentence or two. Boil it down and be concise and specific.
Next, create action steps. Not New Year’s resolutions, but actual action steps. These action steps should be specific and concise. They should be things that are obtainable and you’re actually able to do. But most importantly, you need to see how these action steps are God honoring. How can you honor God with your action steps this coming year? How can you use your God given talents and spiritual gifts to honor him this coming year? Now write it down.
Once you do this, you can have something concrete to do for this coming year.
How can you have a vision for yourself this coming year? How can you write down specific action steps to do God honor work? Take time to do a self assessment and see how you can live a new vision for and from God in the coming year.