“Your beginning may be small, but later years will be very great.”
(Job 8:7 International Standard Version)

We all desire that the year 2013 will be one of our best but what exactly do we need to put into it? How can we work better, play better, walk better, talk better, look better, love better, share better, be all round better in this wonderful new year that is spread before us? We still have 360 days what are we going to make of them?

Oftentimes we find it so easy to blame other people for our failures, setbacks and inability to achieve and maybe just maybe we might not be entirely wrong. But… and this is important, at the end of the day we have to take full responsibility for the way our lives turn out. (Just writing that gives me the shivers; I’ve been dealt some unexpected and very painful blows in life and I’ve sat down and had many a pity-party. 😦 If I can’t keep blaming my future inability to achieve on the past poor cards I was dealt then I really need to get off my backside and do something positive, O my…)

Yes, as I write I realise I’m also speaking to myself and at the end of the day, at the end of the year at the end of our years, excuses won’t count. Our Creator will have some questions for us and we better have some genuine answers. He has deposited something in each one of us, we all have something we can do, it might not be what we ultimately want to do but the key is we should start somewhere. And if you’re not really sure where just start at the beginning.

I just read this article about allowing other people to critic us and it sort of resonated with me. Let me paint a picture, have your you ever asked someone: “How do I look?”, “What do you think of my new haircut?” or “What do you think of my new spaghetti Bolognese recipe?”. And for a half a minute they look at you and then comes hmm…, well….before they finally give their opinion. Supposedly they were trying to judge how you looked or what the meal tasted like, more often than not they made up their mind about that long before you asked. What they were actually trying to judge was whether they should tell you what they really felt or they should just tell you what you want to hear. If they are close enough they might ask you which version you wanted to hear, most will just be polite :).

I’m not asking us to ditch our politeness, no not for a second. What I am asking us to consider is whether we are man enough to handle the truth. The truth about our new look that we’ve spent a small fortune on, the truth about the haircut we got at that classy salon and the truth about that spaghetti Bolognese that tasted, yea, you got it pretty awful.

When we ask those type of questions more often than not we’re looking for approval not critic, so when we’re asked we should be nice and help people to feel better about themselves if that is what they are looking for. You might lose a whole lot of friends if not. But when you’re the one doing the asking decide whether you want to massage your ego or you want genuine critic from people who want to see you do better, excel and become top of your game. There’s always room for improvement, the rate at which new technology products are run off the mill tells us that. (One day, in a few short years from now, mobile phones, credit/debit cards and passports etc. will be a thing of the past; all the information will be embedded on our person just below the skin. Ostensibly to prevent our valuables from getting lost…that however is a story for another day).

Today we are looking at embracing the truth, embracing constructive criticism so that we can improve our lives, become better in every way, move ahead and prosper. Even the Lord desires that we embrace the truth: “Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.” Psalm 51:6 (NIV).

When we sharpen a knife we file away the unwanted bits until it becomes smooth, sleek and cutting edge sharp. Hard on the knife and possibly hard on our arms but the effort is worth it. If we want to look sharp, think sharp, and work sharp, if we want to be at the cutting edge of our professions and endeavours we need to allow our nearest and dearest to file away the unwanted bits so that we can begin to gleam like gold. Some may call it the fire experience that turns us into gems. A great saying can be found in Proverbs 27 verse 17: “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another”.

As we allow our embarrassing, non-performing, inefficient and unhelpful bits to be filed away, as we take hold of views and practices that will enable us to excel, may 2013 indeed prove to be our best year yet!

2013 here we come!

Please let me know what you think… Cheers LolaA




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