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Meditation: Out With The Old And In With The New

By REV ANGELA C BOSFIELD PALACIOUS

AS we continue to plan for a better year this year (as much as it is in our control), let us consider what needs to be left behind and what is worth preserving and pursuing:

  1. It all begins with establishing a prayer connection with God. As we ask the Holy Spirit to keep us connected through the word of God to know and do the will of God, we will recognise the path that we are being admonished to follow. Spiritual principles hem us in enough to be able to understand Christian freedoms and limitations. We can celebrate each victory of obedience we win even while we grieve over our lapses and shortcomings.

  2. Let us forgive ourselves on a daily basis. As soon as we see ourselves slipping away from the straight and narrow path, and moving away from the bull’s eye of right living (“off the mark”), then we need to pull ourselves up short. A firm but gentle rebuke should be enough to get us back on track. This is an important part of loving ourselves. From the relief and release of guilt and shame comes a new joy and confidence that makes us more pleasant to be around.

  3. Let us try to begin the process of forgiving others as quickly as possible. We may have to report the matter to the police, or receive counselling in the process, but the end for which we are aiming is to be cleansed from all of the poison that unforgiveness brings. The memory may take a while to fade, but at least we are free to live life to the fullest as we journey toward recovery.

  4. Let us build this year on a firmer foundation by intentionally engaging in spiritual pursuits. Let this be the tear to begin tithing if you had not been doing so previously. Plan to attend a weekly bible study or prayer meeting, an evening service or fellowship group, and engage in some form of ministry to bless others.

  5. Let us think of a quality of Christ using the list of the Fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5: 22-3), the love qualities in 1 Corinthians 13 or some other passage to determine how you would like to be remembered if you were to die this year. Practice that quality as your most outstanding feature, even as you attempt to practice all of the others.

  6. Let us start at home with a new approach to family life. We may change to become known as the helpful one, volunteering to assist before being asked; or the grateful one who expresses appreciation on a regular basis; or the peaceful one if we were prone to be the instigator of strife; or the affectionate one if we were aloof or cold for the most part.

  7. At school or at work, it may be time for us to become one of the more dedicated and conscientious persons, whether as student or teacher, or employer or employee. Let us be the salt and yeast that quietly work to Christianize the environment.

  8. In the neighbourhood, it is our light that can shine brightly as we keep our property tidy, as we engage in backyard and front yard gardening of various sorts, and as we speak courteously to others whom we meet.

Just as our Lord’s name as Jesus the Christ, revealed his mission and message, so too we may receive a name of the praising, praying, comforting, encouraging one, who represents Christ well wherever we are. Let the family resemblance be so obvious, that there is no doubt that we are a child of the King.

In this election year, we want to make it clear that first and foremost, we belong to the God party, and that prevents us from engaging in backstabbing and bribery. Let us be more ready to go door-to-door for Jesus than we already are to campaign (if we do), and more excited about spiritual things than we are at the rallies and gatherings that will mesmerise us over the next few months. It is good to be engaged in civic pursuits but not if it cancels out our desire to do even more for the Lord. It is our duty and responsibility to register to vote and to vote, so that we may help to shape the way forward for ourselves and our people.

Let this new year be our best year ever. So it is time to say: “Out with the old and in with the new.”

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