The week between Christmas and New Years Day is always an interesting one. At worst, it’s a bit of the desert after you leave Vegas headed back to LA. At best, its College Football Bowl week! It’s the week we take down the decorations, return the gifts that don’t fit or work, and the last week of gluttony before the looming diet begins.
But it’s also a good week to end the year properly to set us up for a great new year! So, before we get into all the New Year’s Resolutions that we’ll start in a week, let’s take a moment to close the books on 2016. Here are three things to consider.
Cancel all relational debt.
I know. I don’t know what they did. And if I did, I’d be as bitter as you. But, unforgiveness, bitterness, and offense is like fruit cake – it tastes good at first, but if you let it linger around, it only begins to stink.
In the book “It Came From Within”, Andy Stanley points out that all grudges are a demand that someone owes you something – an apology, a thank you, money, a childhood, a first marriage. Whatever it is, most of it can’t be repaid… and if it could, it would never be truly satisfying. So why not cancel the debt?
Before you move into the next year, list all those who owe you, what they owe you, and go through each name and write “Paid in full.” To really speed up the healing, go so far as to notify the person “you don’t owe me anymore.” Why carry this into the next year… start fresh.
Celebrate all the good that happened.
I know for me I’m so focused on all I WANT to do and all I NEED to do, I skip right to the New Years Resolutions without taking stock of what HAS happened. Make a list of all the good things that happened and that you were able to accomplish over the last year – the job you kept, the raise you got, the friends you made, the sickness you avoided, the trip you got to take, the 12 months without a ticket… whatever is good! This will do a couple of things for you: First, you’ll see you have much more to be grateful for than you thought. Second, you’ll see trends in what you tend to succeed at, and how God tends to bless you. This will make you more discerning in the coming year.
Say thank you.
This is an overlooked practice now that Thanksgiving is over with, but when you consider those of have canceled your debts, and those who helped make many good things happen in your life… take a moment to say thank you. Write a note, share a nice post on their Facebook wall, or tell them face to face. Whatever it takes, share your gratitude. The quickest way to find joy is to express gratitude.
And speaking of gratitude, this is my first real year of blogging, and I want to say I’m so thankful for those of you who have not only read these… but shared them! You are a blessing to me! Thanks for a great 2016 and I pray you have a blessed 2017!