At church this morning Preacher Phil gave a really great sermon and challenged us all as a congregation to make 4 commitments for 2009:
1. Forget your failures.
We need to forget the past and not dwell on our past mistakes. We can learn from them and gain wisdom from them but we shouldn't beat ourselves up for them...our enemies will do that for us.
2. Give up your grudges.
Grudges destruct you, forgive yourself and then you will be able to forgive your enemies. Turn loose of it and free yourself.
3. Restore your relationships.
We should try to make right any failed relationships, our time here is too short, the fact is that you may not be able to trust some people and this doesn't mean you have to hang out with them, but you can forgive them and show people how Jesus works by overcoming evil with good. Usually evil working in our lives is what causes broken relationships.
4. Turn your back on sin which easily besets us.
We should try to leave sin behind us...we shouldn't continue to be sinful because that is what we are used to, it's what we are familiar with. We should try to live the way God would have us live. It's easy to get stuck in the "norm". He used an interesting example to demonstrate how people stay with what they are used to by telling the story of how in history when the Civil War was over and the slaves finally freed...many of those slaves went back to the masters they worked for and continued to work as slaves...because that is what they were used to. We as Christians should try our best to be free from sin. None of us will be perfect but it gives us something to strive toward.
I just loved his messaged this morning and felt it blog worthy. I know I could work on all of the above and am going to do my best in 2009 to fulfill this commitment.