What’s On Your “To-Be” List?

“My son, keep my words and store up my commands within you.  Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye.  Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.” – Proverbs 7:1-3

The start of a new year always gets me thinking of what I’d like to change, how I’d like to improve.  It’s a fresh start, a chance to wipe the slate clean and start over.  As I have been praying and thinking about what to do differently this year, I remembered a New Year’s message Lee Strobel gave many years ago in which he said it’s more important to consider who we’re going to be than what we’re going to do because what we do flows out of who we are.

I don’t want to spend my life making an effort to do the things I think Jesus would want me to do.  It was just such an approach to life that Jesus condemned in one of the scariest passages of scripture.  I want to know Christ so well, to be in such close relationship with him, that I can’t help but do what he would want me to do.

One step I’m taking toward that vision has to do with how I start my day.  Part of my morning routine has been reading two newspapers.  Then I’m usually eager to dive into work.  But from now on I’m going to spend time reading the Bible and praying in the morning.  If my relationship with Christ is the most important part of my life then doesn’t it make sense to begin my day with him?  To paraphrase Henry David Thoreau, instead of starting each day with the Times, I’m going to start with “the eternities.”

I know that such disciplines alone will not produce change. But as Richard Foster points out in “The Celebration of Discipline,” they will place me where the change can occur.

If my personal use of money, my writing and teaching, and my daily interactions with people are to increasingly reflect my relationship with Christ, then the best thing I can do this year is to spend more time with him.

What about you?  Who do you hope to become this year?  And what will you do about that?

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