Hope you had a restful Christmas and a reflective New Year. We had a brilliant time at Catalyst, and I had a fantastic Christmas!
What I have noticed now it is 2020, is that my Instagram feed has been filled up with people, once again, setting totally unobtainable, over ambitious goals for the year – eg stories about going to the gym every day etc.
There tends to be a trend every January to become someone new, to move away from the over-indulgence of Christmas, to be more disciplined in our lives. I’ve been thinking about this “New Year, New Me” culture and thought about what the Bible says about it. Here are some thoughts:
Psalm 65:11 says that God “crowns the year with (His) bounty”. David is reflecting on the ways in which God is going to bless His people throughout the year.
In Isaiah 43:18-19 it says: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing”. We are encouraged here to not get so focused on what happened last year and the mistakes we made, the areas that we didn’t progress in, but to focus on the year ahead.
The message we get from the world is that setting new goals has a direct link with a new identity; the Bible says that we have a new identity when we become a follower of Jesus (2 Cor 5:17). Out of this identity as a loved child, we can set goals, knowing that if we succeed or not, it does not affect who we are, and how loved we are.
There is something entirely Biblical about setting goals for the new year, but it has to be in the context of a defined, immovable identity in God and comes out of a place of partnership with Him. Our goals need to be His goals.
Why not ask God what He would like you to do in 2020!