The vast majority of Christians would probably admit that they want to be better Christians. We know we can’t earn salvation or God’s favor, but a desire to be like Jesus motivates us to try hard anyway. And with the new year just beginning, it’s the perfect time to reevaluate our lives and see how we can improve.
There’s no magic formula to make you a better person, much less a better Christian. However, there are several good habits you can adopt this year that will put you on the path to self-improvement and growth in the Lord. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Spend Time in the Bible
Most Christians would agree they should spend more time reading the Bible. But just as this commitment goes beyond simply reading words on a page, it also involves more than the meticulous note-taking and concordance lookups that are associated with “good” Bible studies common today. Taking notes and looking up original languages are excellent tools, but they shouldn’t be your ultimate focus when you read the Bible. Don’t lose sight of the forest for the trees! Just starting reading and see what God is saying to you.
Honor God with Your Mind
God gave you talents and a brain for a reason. God expects us to use our talents to honor Him, and to use our intellects to learn about him and spread this knowledge to others. If you have a hobby you particularly enjoy and excel at, take the time to improve your abilities and use them in service to God or others.
When it comes to honoring God with your intellect, it can be easy to fall into the trap of focusing so much on a “book knowledge” of spiritual things that you forget the relationship God wants to have with us. On the opposite extreme, it’s also easy to imagine that intellect and faith are mutually exclusive and critical thinking has no place in Christianity. Both viewpoints are drastically wrong. God wants us to learn about Him and help others do the same, but we are not to let our newfound wisdom make us prideful, and we are absolutely not called to turn our brains off in church. Spend time in prayer and thought to find the right middle ground for yourself.
Enjoy God’s Creations
God created the Earth specifically for us and filled it with what we need to survive and thrive. Everything plays a part. But this creation is more than functional. Even a glimpse outside shows you how beautiful and complex nature is. And even outside of nature, talented artists follow in the Creator’s footsteps to make lovely artwork and creations of their own. Take the time to enjoy what God has made and what other artists have designed. Show appreciation for what God made for us.
Pro Tip: Spending time in nature is known to help boost one’s mental health as well as their connection to God. Make a commitment to spend more time outdoors in 2020!
Make Good Use of Your Time
We’re called to be stewards of what God gave to us, and part of being a good steward involves using our time wisely. In addition to filling our free time with positive habits like the ones discussed above, we should also focus on investing our time into things that matter. Spending time with loved ones should take precedence over sleeping in, for instance. Find worthwhile ways to spend your time and honor God through your choices.
Becoming a Better Christian in 2020
None of these new habits will guarantee you a better Christian walk on their own. But paired with a willingness to get to know God better and dedicate your life more fully to Him, you’re sure to notice an improvement in your faith and spiritual growth in the new year.
Join the conversation for more ideas on how to grow closer to God.