Turning the Corner on Life

By Greg Quinn

January 15th, 2010

2009 is over.  A new year is here.  What will you do differently in the new year, than you did the past one?

New Years always brings resolutions.  New decisions.  Times of reflecting. Determination regarding a change.  But, since change is difficult for most of us, most changes are left behind as good intentions.  And, good intentions, unfortunately, donít help you live a better life.

Good intentions, or a failed resolution, will not cause you to lose weight, one of the more popular New Years resolutions.  Good intentions will not make you read your Bible more, or pray more, or become a better Christian.  Or, a follower of Jesus at all.  Good intentions will not force you to be a better spouse, child, parent, or neighbor.  Good intentions without action are worth very little.  Good intentions that failed because of a lack of determination and action cause greater frustration, depression, anxiety, and fear.

So, as you turn the corner on a new year, isnít it about time you turn the corner on a new life?

Sounds good, doesnít it?  But how do we do it?

 

First, renew your focus.  Determine with much thought the things that are important to you, and decide to take action in a priority fashion in direct proportion to the level of importance in your life.  Major on the majors; donít major on the minors.  Write down the things that are important in your life, then prioritize them.  These are the things that should consume your time.   And, I believe that if you place God as your first priority, all the other things will fall into place.

In fact, look at what Jesus said in Matthew 6: 25-33:

25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

 

Second, renew your dedication.  It is easy to say you will do something.  It is much more difficult to actually do it.  But, to obtain results, you must act.  Do whatever you must do in order to daily remind yourself that the change you are about to undertake is worthwhile, and in accordance with the priorities in your life.  Donít let your resolutions become a failed attempt at action.  Do something about it.  And that starts with dedication and determination.

 

Third, list the things that have gone well over the past year.  Write down the things that went well for you in your life.  Then, write down the things that you did (or didnít do) that helped to cause these good things to happen to you.  If you did something that caused positive results, doesnít it make sense to do this more?

 

Fourth, list the things that didnít go well for you over the past year.  Write down these bad things.  Again, list the things you did (or didnít do) that helped cause these bad things to happen.  Upon reflection, list the things that you could have done to avoid these bad things happening.  If you did or did not do things that caused bad results, doesnít it make sense to change the action to therefore change the result?

 

Finally, with these first four steps in place, initiate your plan of action and do not quit.  Act, and stick with it.  For results, you must act.  For good results, you must act consistently.   Wanting it is not enough.  Having faith is important, but not enough on its own.  You must act.

James 2:26 says:

26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Do you want more out of life in 2010 than you experienced in 2009?  A better job? A better relationship with your spouse or kids? More time to enjoy the things you like to do?  More friends?  Better relationship with God?  Being used in service for God?  More money?  Nicer home?  More education?  To look better? To gain greater health? To help others more?

If these things are important to you, do something about it.  You cannot change direction without turning the corner.

Turn the corner on life in 2010.  You can do it.  Itís your choice.

Greg Quinn