The week between Christmas and New Year’s is an amazing gift from God for reflection. It’s a week when you are coming off the excitement of Christmas as you prepare for what lies ahead in 2017. As you wrap up 2016, I want to encourage you to think through a few things.
First, give some stuff away. Maybe Christmas brought you new clothes, possibly some new books, and maybe if you’re lucky something from Apple. If that’s the case, give some of your old stuff away. Let’s not let Christmas be solely about consuming, give what you can away.
Find a way not to just get rid of things but to bless someone. You have no clue how needed your coats and blankets are this time of year at your local homeless shelter. Giving really is a blessing.
Second, reflect on the past year. Sit down and write out all the ways God has blessed you in 2016. What did you do? Where did you go? Who did you meet? How did you grow? Take some time to thank God for His goodness in your life.
Francis Schaeffer said, “The beginning of men’s rebellion against God was, and is, the lack of a thankful heart.” Thank the people who made 2016 for you. Thank the Lord for 2016.
Lastly, make a plan for 2017. We will have more on this in early January, but God has graciously built rhythms into the calendar and your life for you to grow in discipline. Every week, month, and year you have a chance to start over.
Use those moments to start over with resolve and focus. Maybe you need to run or join a gym, now is a great time to get after it. Get a Bible reading plan for 2017 and carve out the time to get alone with God. Pick some books to tackle in 2017. In the words of John Piper, don’t waste 2017!
So, as you soak in the aftermath of Christmas and plan your celebrations for New Year’s Eve, take some time to give, reflect, and prepare. Use this week to glorify God for the gift of 2016 and prepare to make much of Him in 2017.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Trey Brunson is the director of development for Crossings Ministries.