Unfortunately, January 1st is also a day that goes down in infamy. All my New Year’s plans typically end up on the bottom of the ocean of my daily tasks and demanding schedule in just a few weeks. Yet I love getting a new start, and the first of the year is the perfect time to wipe the slate clean and pen a few new goals.
This year I’m looking past the few pounds of winter padding I want to lose, and the relationships that need mending. I’m trying to step back and look at life in terms of a major theme still lingering in the air from my prayer closet. At work, I have to keep my eye on the daily goals because my job, boss, company, and income depend on them. For church projects, the seven day cycle demands that everything be ready for Sunday service. In both these settings, external deadlines and expectations constrain my to-do list and help me stay on task. Maybe that’s why those lists get completed, while I struggle at personal goals and financial plans.
So why should I manage my money better this year than last? Because then I can use more of it to bless my family, pay my bills, care for the poor, and prepare for the future. Why should I lose a few pounds? To care for the body Jesus gave me, and do what I can to prevent damage by decay or disease. Why should I turn off the TV, unplug from the net, or leave my cell phone off now and then? Because Jesus invested His time in people, and I want to be more like Him.
In the last six months, I’ve felt led to focus on stewardship in my walk with God, as well as daily planning. In Christ we have freedom and we no longer have to earn our worth in the God’s kingdom. Yet as a steward, I am expected to accomplish heaven’s goals with the resources He’s entrusted to me. Maybe it’s time I apply this idea across the board. Outside what I want to do, Christ expects me do, accomplish, and achieve a few things with the resources and gifts He’s entrusted into my care. Oh, I can hear some friends already accusing me of legalism, but I’m not talking about earning my salvation or God’s love. I’m talking about returning to God the things He’s given me, in larger numbers, in better condition, well cared for, and at a time of His choosing.