Running the Christian Race

It’s once again the time to review our annual progress, set ourselves new targets, turn over a new leaf. This last post of 2016 shall be my attempt at reflecting on my spiritual walk these past 366 days, ending with my goals for the coming year.

I only discovered early this year that being a Christian does not stop when you’ve been baptised and that a true Christian life does not merely look good on the outside but involves spiritual growth on the inside. Even as a child, I have always taken my faith seriously. I knew all about the dos and don’ts — don’t have sex before marriage, don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t swear, don’t gossip, do say grace before every meal, do give to the poor, do honour your father and mother etc. — and that was all ‘being a Christian’ was to me even after I was baptised 4 years ago. But Christianity isn’t supposed to be about following a set of rules. It’s about living the Truth from the inside. It’s about having an ever-maturing personal relationship with Christ.

Since realising this, I’ve been literally ‘running’ the Christian race. By this I mean I’m constantly starving for more and more of the Truth, more wisdom and faith. My eyes have been opened to the magnificence of His grace, of having a truly loving Christian community, of having sisters in Christ who love you through all the good and bad and keep you accountable always. I have allowed my broken heart and soul to be renewed by Him — the anger and bitterness taken away, in their place filled compassion, forgiveness, and hope (and also a whole load of pain). But I have also become impatient when I find out a friend isn’t on the same page as I am. I’ve probably hit the ‘speed limit’ too many times: reading but not learning, hearing but not listening, demanding every other Christian to be running with me or else face my abandonment and sometimes even scorn. In my haste to ‘run the race’ I’ve forgotten the important virtues of patience and kindness. I have to admit, this really doesn’t paint too pretty a picture.

So for 2017, my goals for myself are to always keep the bigger picture in mind, to always remember that everything happens in His timing, and to keep running the Christian Race with more kindness, grace, patience, and love. To be brave in everything I do and say, to be humble through everything and return all the glory to Him. To keep growing in my relationship with Christ and keep spreading the good news.

Have you made your new years’ resolutions yet? What are they? And how do you plan on achieving them? Let me know!

Here’s to a most blessed and beautiful 2017 filled with hope, love, peace, and joy.

-P

__________

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. {Philippians 3:13-14}

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. {Ephesians 4:22-24}

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