Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Year's Resolve

Ten Questions to Ask at the Start of a
 New Year
 or On Your Birthday (by Donald Whitney)
Once, when the people of God had become careless in their relationship 
with Him, the Lord rebuked them through the prophet Haggai.
 "Consider your ways!" (Haggai 1:5) he declared, urging them to reflect
 on some of the things happening to them, and to evaluate their
 slipshod spirituality in light of what God had told them.


Even those most faithful to God occasionally need to pause and think
 about the direction of their lives. It's so easy to bump along from 
one busy week to another without ever stopping to ponder where 
we're going and where we should be going.


The beginning of a new year is an ideal time to stop, look up, and
 get our bearings. To that end, here are some questions to ask 
prayerfully in the presence of God.


1. What's one thing you could do this year to increase your
 enjoyment of God?

2. What's the most humanly impossible thing you will ask God

 to do this year?

3. What's the single most important thing you could do to

 improve the quality of your family life this year?

4. In which spiritual discipline do you most want to make 

progress this year, and what will you do about it?

5. What is the single biggest time-waster in your life, and what

 will you do about it this year?

6. What is the most helpful new way you could strengthen

 your church?

7. For whose salvation will you pray most fervently this year?

8. What's the most important way you will, by God's grace, try

 to make this year different from last year?

9. What one thing could you do to improve your prayer life 

this year?

10. What single thing that you plan to do this year will matter

 most in ten years? In eternity?
In addition to these ten questions, here are twenty-one more 
to help you "Consider your ways." Think on the entire list at 
one sitting, or answer one question each day for a month.


11. What's the most important decision you need to make this year?

12. What area of your life most needs simplifying, and what's

 one way you could simplify in that area?

13. What's the most important need you feel burdened to

 meet this year?

14. What habit would you most like to establish this year?

15. Who is the person you most want to encourage this 

year?

16. What is your most important financial goal this year, 

and what is the most important step you can take toward
 achieving it?

17. What's the single most important thing you could do

 to improve the quality of your work life this year?

18. What's one new way you could be a blessing to your

 pastor (or to another who ministers to you) this year?

19. What's one thing you could do this year to enrich

 the spiritual legacy you will leave to your children 
and grandchildren?

20. What book, in addition to the Bible, do you most 

want to read this year?

21. What one thing do you most regret about last year,

 and what will you do about it this year?

22. What single blessing from God do you want to seek

 most earnestly this year?

23. In what area of your life do you most need growth, 

and what will you do about it this year?

24. What's the most important trip you want to take

 this year?

25. What skill do you most want to learn or improve 

this year?

26. To what need or ministry will you try to give an

 unprecedented amount this year?

27. What's the single most important thing you could do

 to improve the quality of your commute this year?

28. What one biblical doctrine do you most want to 

understand better this year, and what will you do about it?

29. If those who know you best gave you one piece of 

advice, what would they say? Would they be right? 
What will you do about it?

30. What's the most important new item you want to

 buy this year?

31. In what area of your life do you most need change,

 and what will you do about it this year?
The value of many of these questions is not in their
 profundity, but in the simple fact that they bring an
 issue or commitment into focus. For example, just by 
articulating which person you most want to encourage
 this year is more likely to help you remember to 
encourage that person than if you hadn't considered
 the question.
If you've found these questions helpful, you might want
 to put them someplace—in a day planner, PDA, calendar,
 bulletin board, etc.—where you can review them more
 frequently than once a year.
So let's evaluate our lives, make plans and goals, and
 live this new year with biblical diligence, remembering
 that, "The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage"
 (Proverbs 21:5). But in all things let's also remember 
our dependence on our King who said, "Apart from Me
 you can do nothing" (John 15:5).

1 comment:

MACW said...

Thank you! Excellent! I did just as you suggested, I printed them off. Thought provoking indeed, it will take me some time to answer them as well. Thank you for sharing!

Mac