Today is January 1st of a new year and a new decade! (Note to self: don’t write 2019 on checks anymore!) Anyway, this thought struck me: Are you forward looking, or backward looking?
Backward looking people find themselves dwelling on the past year and the “might-have-beens,” the what-ifs, the opportunities that escaped them, and regrets. Their minds are mired in unhappiness. All talk of: “new year’s resolutions” and a whole decade of endless possibilities stretching out before them seems semi ridiculous. In short, if you view your past as unhappy, then you’ll probably view your future as more of the same. So you end up being stuck in a rut, paralyzed by fear of failure.
Then there are forward-looking folks. They approach a new year with optimism. Yes, some are perennial “pie-in-the-skyers,” but others of this group don’t want to let negativity win, so they approach life with expectations of a better tomorrow. They know the old: “woe is me” but they refuse to succumb to it! This is the camp into which I would put most Christians.
Believers in Christ all know what it is like to suffer. We’re not immune from debilitating disease, financial pressures, the heartache of loss, the pain of disappointment, and even the attacks of the evil one. Yes, we all have our bad days, too, when we put on our own “pity party.” But, we don’t let the bad guys win. We don’t let such things ruin our lives or take away our good cheer. That’s because we believe and trust in the God of BLESSING! We believe in a God Who gave His all to save us from a life of feeling sorry for ourselves. We don’t have to let suffering dominate us. For our God has saved us from eternal pain and heartache, yes from the eternal “pity party” called hell, and given us a new year of endless possibilities fueled by and shaped by: love. Specifically, by His love for us in Jesus Christ. If God Almighty loves us; if God Almighty proved it by dying in our place for all our inner evil; if God Almighty adopted us as His children via faith, well doesn’t that provide us with proof of a better tomorrow? Or as St. John says: “God is light and in Him dwells no darkness at all.”
Being an optimistic Christian is a wonderful way to live. This new year provides each of us with a Godly renewal of spirit. That entails renouncing darkness and embracing the light. Start by doing so in the one venue you have total control over: your mind and spirit. By approaching each day with an attitude of blessing vs. gloom and doom you will never go wrong.
Pastor Thomas H. Fox