As we come to the end of another year, you may be thinking of ways you can improve your life. It might be in one area or an overall holistic approach. The bible is our guide to becoming who God created us to be and living an abundant life. Here are a few ideas to start you off!
1. Our Thoughts
Have you ever heard the saying – you are what you think?
“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he”Proverbs 23:7
The word encourages us to think about things that are
“true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”Philippians 4:8
While seeing if those thoughts line up with God’s word and what He says.
“Bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ2 Corinthians 10:5
2. The Company You Keep
Who are you spending your time with? Are they having a good or bad influence on you?
Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”1 Corinthians 15:33
Try to spend time with people who will encourage you and inspire love in your life!
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another”Hebrews 10:24-25
3. What Goes In
Take a look at everything you put in your body – food, drink, music, words. Are these having a positive effect on your body and mind?
“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?”1 Corinthians 3:16
Does this not make you want to take care of yourself more? You are a temple for Gods spirit to dwell in! Can we treat our bodies better by what we eat and drink? Do we need to do some exercise?
“Then He said to them, “Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given.” Mark 4:24Mark 4:24
If we listen to God’s words, we will be given wisdom and understanding. How much notice will we take of them? How harshly are we judging other people?
What we listen to, whether that be music, programmes or words from those around us, they all affect us. You can choose whether these will be uplifting or filled with negativity and death.
“Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23Proverbs 4:23
4. What We Look At
“The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.”Matthew 6:22-23
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my body to be full of darkness, so we need to make better choices about the things we look at. This could be what we watch, what we read and who we look at!
The bible isn’t trying to take away our fun, rather give us free will to make better choices.
“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.”1 Corinthians 6:12
5. What We Have
A new year is a great time to think about having a clear out. Look around you – can you see clutter? Can you see things that no one even uses anymore but someone else could?
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.”Matthew 6:19
In our modern world we are bombarded with advertisements that tell us we need all these things in order to be happy but sometimes we need to simplify things and look at the things we already have. Are you taking care of those?
“Lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord.”Matthew 25:23
Take care of what you have first and then God may entrust you with more. Learn to be content with what you have.
“Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out”1 Timothy 6:6-7
“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things, I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.”Philippians 4:11-12
6. Our Words
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue”Proverbs 18:21
Death and Life! Wow, our tongue has a lot of power. How do you use yours? Are you speaking life over yourself and others? Or are you speaking death?
“He who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction.”Proverbs 13:3
“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.”Ephesians 4:29
“A perverse man sows strife, And a whisperer separates the best of friends.”Proverbs 16:28
These verses all teach us that gossip and slander are not helpful, not to us and not to others. It can separate friends and cause destruction. Choose to speak better not only to others but to yourself.
“in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”1 Thessalonians 5:18
This next year begin to practice gratitude, find something daily to be grateful for.
We cannot change while doing the same things we have always done. Why not try something new this year? I know that some of us are facing incredibly difficult things, including myself but even starting with one of these things can make such a difference to our lives.
I hope and pray that as you seek God’s kingdom first over this next year, your lives will improve, you will experience joy and blessings, and you will press on to become all God created you to be!