I’m a few days away from being 43. That just sounds old. I mean, I know it’s not. But if I think back a looooong time ago to the sweet age of 10, I thought 43 was practically retirement-village,-using-a-walker,-putting-away-my-dentures-every-night-old.
As I do every year, I like to think back over the previous 365 days and reflect on it. What did I do that was exciting? What is something I wish I had done? Did I waste time on ‘stuff’? Am I happy with the actions I took? A lot of people might do this at the end of the year. I find I love to do it at my birthday, because it makes me feel like I’m not trying to do some cheesy resolution and instead really contemplating what I’ve done.
This year, I feel like I spent much more time truly meditating on God’s Word. I was thoughtful in my Bible reading, not just looking for verses that applied to me. Rather, I was looking meaningfully at the passages for the context, how it applied, and where I saw God in each verse. The more I dug in, the more I found my own ‘self’ was changing! I realized that the things that never bothered me before are now striking a chord with me, and not one that plays a sweet note.
TV and movies don’t have the same appeal when I see the worldly actions and images across the screen. Secular (and even some contemporary Christian) music doesn’t ring true lately when it promotes unhealthy and inappropriate relationships or a diluted message of who God is and what He does. Foul language is becoming more and more difficult to tolerate.
To the average person, they might see this as a legalistic point of view, these things that I’ve discovered about myself from this past year. However, I believe that it’s less about being legalistic and more about recognizing that I want my relationship with God to be pure and untainted from the ways of the world. I don’t want my walk to be conforming but rather transformative. I want to be different because our Father commands us to be different and not of this world.
Here are just a few verses I’ve leaned on this year without even realizing that I was doing it!
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, think about these things. –Philippians 4:8
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. –Romans 12:2
Beloved, I urge you as foreigners and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts, which wage war against the soul. –1 Peter 2:11
As I look back I realize that, while there may be things I wish I had done, I love that I have recognized the Holy Spirit prodding me to a life that’s more pleasing to God. I’m not perfect at it. I never will be. But any small thing that pushes me to a closer relationship to my Heavenly Father, is a small thing I’ll do as often as I can!
Dear friends, join me in meditating on those verses this week. Think about ways we can think on things that are honorable, true and right and remind ourselves that, as Christians, we are only visitors on this earth for a short time compared to eternity with Him!