December 28, 2020
Have you ever made a last-minute decision that changed your life?
Maybe it was a last-minute decision about which course to take, which school to enroll in, or a split-decision to take a gap year.
Decisions, even if made at the last minute, are powerful enough to change the course of our lives.
Ask the basketball player who had to call the shot as time ran out. Or the driver of a car who had to make a split-second decision to avert a fatal crash. Or a surgeon who had to make critical decisions as he fought for his patient’s life at the operating table.
In the same way, as the year comes to a close, I believe that we can make some very important last-minute changes before we bid goodbye to 2020 and venture into a new year.
Here are three last-minute changes that you can do now, which will make an impact, not just on your 2021, but your entire life.
We all accumulate different things over the course of our lives.
Aside from accumulating material possessions, we are like sponges that absorb different emotions, thoughts, and even philosophical views that influence the way we live. However, not everything that we gain is truly beneficial to us.
Hence, there are things in our lives that we need to forego—or do without—in order to be truly free.
This includes negative emotions that you harbor in your heart, such as anger, resentment, envy, or sinful pride. This can also include negative mindsets, destructive habits, bad behavior, unhealthy friendships, or relational idols that keep you from growing.
What are the things in your life that you need to let go of? What mindsets do you need to change or forego?
The anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God (James 1:20).
Yes, anger is a valid human emotion. It is our response to pain or injustice and can be triggered by stress or anxiety, among others. However, when we allow our anger to turn into hatred and resentment, we become slaves to our emotion, which can cause adverse consequences in our lives.
So how do we make sure that our anger does not alter our lives in a negative way?
We confront our anger with forgiveness. Forgiveness is not a sign of weakness, but of inner strength. When you release forgiveness toward someone who has wronged you, you are strong enough not to let anger get the best of you or bring out the worst in you.
Forgiveness is like freeing someone from prison and acknowledging that the prisoner was you. Forgiveness grants us freedom from the enslavement of our own anger and bitterness.
Who are the people that you need to forgive? Who do you need to ask for forgiveness?
In mass communication, journalists and reporters use a concept called “media framing.”
This concept means choosing details of a specific story in order to paint a certain picture without changing any facts or information from the narrative.
The truth is that there are facts in our lives that we cannot change and there are events that we cannot undo. Despite this, we are given the opportunity to view things using a different frame of reference. It is our choice to view our reality with a more positive perspective.
Though there are only a few more days remaining in 2020, it is not too late to start framing our perspectives and seeing things in a different light. A little adjustment in your “framing” may benefit you more than you expected.
Instead of focusing on what you lost, start thinking of the things you gained.
Instead of focusing on the wounds this year inflicted on you, start seeing your scars as reminders of the things that God healed you from.
Instead of focusing on the days that have been seemingly wasted, start thinking of the days ahead—days that offer countless chances to regain what you lost, to start over, and to pursue your dreams.
What are the views or perspectives in your life that you need to renew or release?
May the remaining days of 2020 be memorable and meaningful for you as you make your last-minute changes.
Photo by: Jaime Morados