A New Year is a serious moment in which we stand and look where we are and where we should be. It is an opportunity to reflect on whatever changes need to be made in our lives. These changes can be made with the help of the Holy Spirit. It is a change in our behaviour, and our way of living to a better life. “Old things are passed away, behold, all things have become new.” (II Corinthians 5:17)
It is essential that we seek God’s guidance in this process. In prayer, we ask God to show us what He finds displeasing in us, what He wants us to repent of. “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)
Below are some aspects that we can use in our self examination:
We may think to ourselves that we don’t have to worry about this one because each one is a hard-working person. We may be hard working in certain areas [career, school, exercise], but there is still more.
- Did I put my full effort into my relationship with God?
- Quiet time? Agpeya prayer? Bible reading? Repentance/Confession? Communion?
- Was I conscientious in my relationship with my parents/friends?
- Was I faithful in my service to God and the Church?
- Did I use my time wisely? Was I faithful with the time God gave me?
The traditional definition of gluttony is habitual greed or excess in eating, i.e. eating too much. However, gluttony can be much more. Gluttony is taking something and making it destructive by overdoing it.
- What did I overdo? (work, food, sleep, family, TV, telephone, computer, appearance)
- What can I do to correct this problem?
Envy is feeling inadequate or that we have been treated unfairly. Maybe we feel God has blessed someone more than us, or we feel that we deserve something that someone else has. Envy is a lack of appreciation for what God has given us. The key to overcoming envy is to be content in our relationship with God and to be focused on seeking His Kingdom.
- Did I compare myself (or my situation) with anyone else?
- Was I appreciative of all that God gave me and did for me?
- Does someone else’s success lead me to bitterness/resentment?
Anger is much more than just losing my temper and yelling. Anger is a sin which promotes sins against other people, such as gossip, self-righteous judging, complaining, … etc.
- Did I lose my temper with anyone? Yelling? Cursing?
- Did I think and/or say anything negative about another person?
- Is there anyone that I am unwilling to forgive? Any grudges I am holding on to?
Pride is the deadliest sin of all. It caused the fall of Adam and Eve and caused Lucifer to be kicked out of heaven. Pride blinds us to our true spiritual condition and causes us to think more highly of ourselves than we should. When I am proud, ‘myself’ becomes more important than anyone else. Pride makes us want to appear to be something in the eyes of others.
- Who did I care most about pleasing? God or another person?
- Did I ask for God’s help or did I do things on my own?
- Do I feel like I am always right and have to argue until I prove it?
- How do I respond to criticism from others?
- Did I regularly express my need for God throughout each day ?
May God grant us a blessed and a happy new year!