by John Armstrong
Thanksgiving is passed us and soon Christmas will be a memory and a New Year will begin, but
let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. Time is relentless in its undeterred march ever onward.
The questions we must be asking ourselves is what are we doing with the time we have been
given. It is a question that needs to be asked often. You know as well as I do that at the end of
December there will be the dreaded New Year’s resolutions. I think it is a good thing to take
time out from time to time to take stock of our lives and how we are living them. I submit to
you, while you are dreading the New Year’s resolution thing, that we should be taking time
daily to do brief reviews of our lives. That should be part of our daily prayer life. We do well to
also have a weekly or bi-weekly time where we check in with a trusted friend or mentor with
whom we have a discipleship relationship. Then we also do well to take some time to have
more serious reflection on how things are going in our life. As we come into the Holiday Season
with Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year, we are faced with a time that is tailor made for
reflection. What are you thankful for? What difference does the birth of Jesus make in your
life? How are you going to serve Jesus this year? These are a couple of simple questions for
any Christian as we experience these holidays. There are a bunch of questions like that I could
ask. Then the question becomes, will I ask those of myself? Will I take an honestly searching
look at my life and invite the Holy Spirit to shine His light into the dark recesses of my life and
clean out the clutter that is there. That takes real courage. That takes Holy Spirit enabled
Now, hear me clearly, I’m not advocating a morbid introspection, where you spend long hours
determining all the ways you fail the Lord day to day. That is not healthy spiritually or
emotionally. You should already know that you are a hopeless sinner. Otherwise, why would
the Son of God have to die to save you? Don’t ever think this is about holy navel gazing so that
you can try harder to do better. That is not a godly pursuit. When the Holy Spirit convicts you
of sin, confess it and repent. Repentance means that you are going to take steps to put that sin
to death. In other words you are going to work at not doing that sin anymore. Confession is
agreeing with God that you sin is sin, and repentance is agreeing with God that sin doesn’t
belong in your life and you are seeking the Holy Spirit’s help to put that sin to death, by the
grace of God, for the glory of God, because He loves you and you want to show your love for
Him. If you come to Him in times of reflecting asking, “Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the
way everlasting (Psalm 139:23-24)!” If that is the attitude in your reflection, then you will be
well prepared to receive God’s direction for how He would have you move forward in your life
in service to Him.