End of the Year – Beyond Reflection

Welcome to another episode of Reach the Unreachable, a GFI podcast. I am your host Sherry, and I am here today to talk about The End of the Year – Beyond Reflection.

It is always good to reflect on history. Some people say you can’t know where you are going until you know where you have been. I like to reflect on the past and revisit fun memories, especially when I no longer have an opportunity to create more memories due to loss. I lost my son many years ago, so we sometimes watch home videos that help me relive the past. It has been nearly 20 years since we lost him, but it still hurts sometimes. Watching fun videos is a good way to take the pain away. I always thank God for the time He allowed us to spend with him. It was truly a blessing for us all.

It is also good to reflect on past mistakes to help us avoid repeating them. Without it, we run the risk of repeating the same things over and over again, looking for a different result. In case you do not know the term for that, let me help you out. It is the definition of insanity! We often repeat a mistake at least once because we were not paying attention the first time. However, if the same thing happens a third time, one might call that a habit. The bible tells us to examine ourselves daily. My pastor reminds us to examine our day each night to help with the self-examination process.

This brings me to the reason for today’s topic where I go beyond reflection at the end of the year. Since reflection is suggested on a daily basis, it loses its luster by the end of the year. So, we want to go beyond reflection and look at “Where are we now?” Before the new year starts, it is good to know where you are. That way, you can know, or at least plan for, what you need to do to move forward in the new year. I am not talking about where you are in a physical sense, although if your plans include moving to a new location, it is definitely good to know where you are located.

Aside from that, you should know where you are in multiple areas of your life, including, but not limited to, your relationships, your finances, your career or employment, your education, your physical health, your mental health, and most importantly, your spiritual health. Before I get into the most important part, I will review the others.

Before entering the new year, you need to know where you are in your relationships. If you are married, talk to your spouse about where you are and have an honest conversation about it. My hope is that you are both on the same page and if you have some differences that need to be resolved, you can put together a good plan to resolve it in the coming year. Before you can make a plan, you need to know where you are. Perhaps you have a more fluid relationship, meaning you have a love interest, but you are not married yet. It is good to know where you both are so you can know where you are heading. My hope is that your love interest is of the opposite sex because otherwise you have a major problem with where you are as it relates to your spiritual health. Don’t forget, that’s the most important area of your life!

Let’s continue talking about relationships. Whether it is friends or family, you need to know where you are in your relationships. In some cases, a relationship can be toxic for one or both people involved. When that happens, it is ok and very necessary in fact, to separate from the other person. This can be a painful process, but it will prove to be very beneficial in the long term. Start by honestly evaluating the relationship and if there are red flags, or glaring signs that the relationship is toxic, remove yourself as immediately as possible. Your life may depend on it.

Another area that requires you to know where you are is with your finances. Depending on your goals in life, this is likely an area that needs to be evaluated on a regular basis, at least monthly. If you find yourself living paycheck to paycheck, it may be necessary to evaluate your finances more frequently, like weekly instead of monthly. If you know where you are financially, you can take control of where your money goes and better plan for reaching your goals in life.

Next, let’s talk about your career or employment. You need to know where you are. When I left corporate America to start my own business, I had to do some real soul searching to determine what was best for me. In my last job, I had become uncomfortable in the work environment, but it was not until I evaluated where I was, that I was able to make the necessary decision to leave. It was a difficult decision to make because I loved the people I worked with, but at the same time, I had to make a change to accomplish the goals I had set for myself. The end of the year is a good time to evaluate where you are in your career and determine if it is where you want to remain in the new year.

You need to know where you are in your education because when you stop learning, you stop living. Education does not mean just attending school. Education means learning something. It is good to learn something new every day. It does not matter what you learn. Personally, I love to study the bible and learn about God. I also love to play brain games and learn new ways to win. This keeps my mind sharp. Plan to learn some mew things in the new year because where we ALL are is that we need to learn something new every day.

It is very important to know where you are with your physical health. If you do not have a primary physician, I suggest you get one. Even if you are doing the things you typically need to do to be healthy, you still need to evaluate where you are because getting older causes changes to your body and how it reacts to different things. Genetics is another uncontrollable factor that can affect your health. You always need to know where you are in your physical health because your life literally depends on it. Do not risk shortening your lifespan by not knowing the status of your physical health.

Mental health is another important factor that you need to know, especially in this day and age where mental health issues are running rampant. The world we live in today can be very depressing if you are not careful. Some people live in denial when they have mental health issues. This is where we can help each other. It is difficult for a person to evaluate their own mental health, so if someone points out a problem they have noticed, or if you recognize that your thoughts and feelings have changed, I want to encourage you to seek a professional evaluation to make sure you are doing ok. There is no shame in needing help. Shame comes when we refuse the help we need, which inevitably results in pain for those who love us. Know where you are mentally so you can get the help you need.

The most important thing you need to know is where you are in your spiritual health. Your soul and your eternity depend on it. I have said this before, and I will say it again. We are spiritual beings who were created to live for eternity. The world we currently live in is a temporary place and we will end up in one of two places for eternity. Our spiritual health is determined by our relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This is the most important relationship you will ever have. If you have not built an intimate relationship with Jesus, you are lacking in your spiritual health and you are at risk of spending your eternity in the Lake of Fire. Having an intimate relationship means that you have taken the time to really get to know who Jesus is and He accepts you for who you are in His kingdom. Without this intimate relationship, you run the risk of Jesus telling you to depart from him when you come before Him, trying to enter Heaven. We see this in Matthew 7:21-23. Read this and evaluate where you are spiritually. You can follow every law that God has commanded, but if you do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ, it will all be for naught. Your spiritual health depends on a true intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. You have to evaluate where you are to avoid spending eternity in the Lake of Fire. That is why this is the most important part.

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