Turning 21 doesn’t feel as special as some people make it out to be. I experienced the same thing when I turned 18, people ask “How does it feel?” I respond “Like I’m a day older than I was yesterday”. Birthdays always feel like just another day of the year, however, I do think they can serve as a good check point, to assess yourself over the past 365 days. I’ve found myself over the last week since my birthday reflecting on various mistakes I’ve made throughout the year, things I’ve done pretty well, how different my life is versus my expectations, and goals I’d like to meet in the future.
Things I’ve done well
Of course there is always room for improvement, but I am honestly very surprised with where I have come over the last year. This time last year, I was very into apologetics. I was learning all that I could but strongly neglected my relationship with Christ and growing in knowledge of the Bible. I would argue its inerrancy and reliability but I didn’t have a deep knowledge of it. It was actually around this time when I started getting into deeper study of reformed theology. I really struggled my first year being born again to really want to study the Bible, so I’m glad that God has increased my desire to do so over the last year. I’ve been able to read and learn scripture consistently. I’ve also realized that I take more responsibility for my actions. I have had a tendency since I was a child to always find someone else to blame and I thank God he has given me the eyes to see that so many of my problems are the result of my own doing and to take responsibility for these things. I don’t mean to display my good works as though I never mess up, but these are the ways in which I have noticed myself growing and God receives the glory.
Things I would like to do better
I made a lot of mistakes over the past year, many of which could have been avoided had I heeded God’s word. You are likely familiar with the idea that what truly matters is that you learn from them. I agree but I’d also like to add that the important thing is repentance. My goal for year 21 of my life is to grow in my relationship with Christ, in my knowledge of Him and God’s word, and in maturity. Though it is a vague goal, it should be the lifelong goal of every Christian. I may read consistently, but I would like to truly engage more with the word. Read more. Learn more.
So how does this relate to you?
I’m setting a date for my goals to compare with now for growth. I believe I’ve grown a lot since last year and I would like to grow a lot in this next year. But you don’t have to set dates to grow. People fall into the trap often of thinking they have all the time in the world to grow as a Christian. They procrastinate and then never do. Our daily decisions and what we prioritise is what we will achieve. When we are tempted to put aside our daily devotionals in favour of something we would rather do, we should make the decision based on what our goal is. Growth might be most easily measured at specified checkpoints, but it happens everyday. The decisions we make today will impact how much we grow tomorrow.