I will never forget the time I heard my daughter use one of my slang words when she dropped something getting out of the car at only three years old. It was not necessarily a bad word but one I used frequently whenever something unexpected happened. It was shockingly inappropriate for a young girl, and, honestly, for me as well. In fact, this was one I had learned from my grandmother many years earlier. Our minds are like a computer; what goes in will eventually come out.
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. Galatians 6:7
As an adult, I have heard the words “you reap what you sow, more than you sow, later than you sow” preached more than once. If we sow gossip, others will gossip about us. If we sow immorality, we may see our children live immorally. If we sow an undisciplined lifestyle and recklessly squander our finances, we may reap the stress of debt and lack of necessities in life. On the other hand, if we give of our tithe we sow blessings. He promises to open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing until it overflows (Malachi 3:10). With these thoughts in mind, here are eight virtues which we might try to exercise.
- Practice gratitude (Romans 1:21). Even in a pandemic, there are things for which to be grateful.
- Be diligent and disciplined with self-control (Galatians 5:16-26) to do the things God has called us to do: keep His commandments (Deuteronomy 5:6-21) and teach them to our children (Deuteronomy 6:4-9). Obedience brings blessings (Psalm 1:1-3).
- Acquire wisdom (Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 2:1-6) from His Word by thoughtfully reading it all the way through during the new year.
- Don’t worry; give all your cares to Him (I Peter 5:7).
- Be humble (Proverbs 16:18; Psalms 138; Philippians 2: 5-8).
- Build up others rather than tearing them down, especially those in the church, the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:1-6; Galatians 6:10).
- Be holy (I Peter 1: 15-16).
- Remember, it’s not “all about me” (Philippians 2:3-4).
Dr. David Jeremiah reminds us if we are not growing in God’s Word we can become incomplete, ineffective, insincere, and nearsighted; and we can also lose our Christ-like perspective. When it gets right down to it, as we read His transforming Word, His convictions are motivating our actions. It is not just focusing on doing the right thing but allowing the Holy Spirit to work using His Word to “grow us up.” Then we will be more likely to speak the truth through our deeds, and our testimony will be strong and clear. Live in His Word this year to sow righteousness and bring glory to God in order to be a shining light in a dark world.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2
About the writers:
Diana is a former high school teacher, Sunday School teacher, and Women’s Bible Studies teacher. For many years a stay-at-home wife and mother, she is now also a grandmother to three young Oklahomans who call her “Gigi.”
Beverly is a retired educator, parent, grandmother, and wife with a desire to see others learn about Christ and become disciples of His Word through service in various ministries at First Dallas.