As we begin 2020, don’t overlook the fact that SMALL changes can have a BIG IMPACT on the New Year. Listed below are ten small things we can do virtually every day that will help ensure that we have a blessed 2020.
1. Thank God daily! David wrote, “Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits...” (Psa. 69:18). The apostle Paul added, “…giving thanks always for all things to God the Father...” (Eph. 5:20). Thanking God does not take long, but it is what He desires and deserves! Moreover, in every society the most thankful people are typically the happiest!
2. Lift up (at least) one person daily! Virtually everyone we encounter - postal workers, receptionists, waitresses, cashiers, etc. receive few complements from anyone. Say something nice; it will give you both a lift. "…a word spoken in due season, how good it is” Prov. 15:23.
3. Think before speaking! Millions of marriages, family relationships, close friendships, and even centuries–old treaties between nations have abruptly ended when angry or spiteful words were exchanged. James wrote, “…the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity.” (James 3:5-6) Although sticks and stones may break our bones, cutting or angry words can do permanent harm. Be careful with your words.
4. Be the first to apologize! Peter asked Jesus, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” (Mt 18:21-22). The biggest obstacle to forgiving others is pride. Never allow your pride to keep you from saying, “I'm sorry", and healing a relationship or rift. Jesus taught us to pray, “…forgive us our debts, AS WE FORGIVE our debtors” (Mt. 6:12).
5. Gradually decrease your possessions. A popular bumper sticker reads, “He Who Dies With the Most Toys Wins!" Unfortunately, countless Americans believe it. Millions measure their success by the number of things they own. But Jesus warned, "Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses" (Lk. 12:15). Paul added that becoming obsessed with money or things will cause us to “fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.” (1 Tim. 6:9) The cure? Begin shedding materialistic pounds. You will end up richer in heaven (See Matt. 6:19-20).
To be continued...
Jesus, always Jesus!