It’s a new year. As the years change we often find ourselves looking back at the achievements of the previous year, and looking forward to new goals, resolutions and plans for the next year. Has it been a successful year? Will next year be better? And of course, there are many things which turn up unexpected and we can’t plan for. In reality, we know that many of our goals and resolutions will go by the wayside by the end of January, and will still remain intentions moving into next year.
So what should my goals be for the 2014? I have some ideas, physical, social, and work related. I’d like to run more often and further, I may think about a writing project, and I have definite ideas about the growth of the church I lead. Hopefully some of them will come to be, and with a little discipline this may be possible.
But at the end of the day, we are not measured on what we achieve or the plans to bring to fruition. There is a certain amount we are judged on how we have used the situations and talents at our disposal (the parable of the talents), however, on the whole, God is far more interested in our character than our achievements. Jesus focuses our attention on loving God and loving our neighbour (Matt 22:39), on thinking of others as better than ourselves (Mark 9:35), whilst Paul encourages us to follow Christ’s example of humility (Phil 2) – not in a ‘beat yourself up’ way, but simply in an Godward looking way. Get these right, act out of a love for God and maybe some of the goals which we plan may happen also. We will certainly grow closer to God in the process.
So perhaps this year it is worth working on character rather than achievements.