Looking back...Looking forward

When the old year comes to a close, we are all tempted to look back upon what we accomplished and where we would like a "mulligan"...a do-over. This is natural for human beings and not a bad exercise if we do it in a way that improves us and doesn't puff us up as we consider our victories or depress us as we reconsider our failings. Looking back, a moment of self reflection, is valuable. There is no sin in taking a moment of pride in what we have been able to accomplish as along as it is clothed in the knowledge and humility of God's Providence and Will. Personal experience shows that there is truth in the old saying, "Those whom the God's would destroy, first they make proud." Everything we have and enjoy are gifts from above and should always be enjoyed with eyes looking towards Heaven with Thanksgiving.

Looking back on our failures and sin is also of value as long as we don't beat ourselves up in a manner that reveals, not repentance but really wounded pride. If we are angry with ourselves for not being strong enough to have withstood a certain temptation, we are most likely just indulging in a kind of reverse pride, being angry with ourselves rather than falling to our knees in repentance and dependence on our Heavenly Father, who is the source of all strength. Being sorry we failed because we feel our strength let us down is pride. Being repentant and seeking God's forgiveness and renewed strength is Godly.

Look back with kindness and thankfulness at God's grace. Look forward to the upcoming year with eager anticipation as to what God will do with our surrendered hearts for His Kingdom.