By Mary Garrard

Another year has gone by, more quickly than ever. Is it time to evaluate our Christian journeys during the past twelve months and to see what improvements we can make? Or does that sound too much like New Year’s Resolutions which I refuse to make. However, I do think it is helpful to take an honest look at our lives from a Christian point of view. After all, there is a reason why we are called Christians. Bearing Christ’s name calls us to live lives of love and service that cause others to see Christ’s image in us. Can I live this Christ-like life better?

What would a list of promises to God look like? Could we call it A Christian Duty Checklist for 2016?

Remain an involved/active church member. I think we all need to remind ourselves that God wants us for our availability, not for our capability.

Read the Bible. To be devoted to God’s work, I need a strong faith. The Bible will help strengthen my faith. As Hebrews 11:16 says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.”

Pray daily; in fact, pray frequently daily and not just for myself and my family but also for others.

Listen more intently to God’s call for me. This won’t be easy because I’ve always been a better talker than listener. I have to keep in mind that God’s “call” may not be easy to do and may put my feet where I do not expect them to be.

Continually evaluate. Am I being the kind of Christian God wants me to be? Am I a witnessof my faith for others? Am I becoming a dedicated doer of Christian duty? Not just here at OUMC but everywhere I go. Am I totally committed to being a Christian? Knowing full
well that total commitment is not easy.

Live the Golden Rule. Really live it, not just say it! If I can consistently treat others as I would want them to treat me, won’t I be glorifying God? And isn’t that the bottom line of Christian duty – living our lives not for ourselves but for the glory of God?

We need to remember that we only get one chance at this thing called life. When it is over, it is going to be too late to live a Christ-like life, and it takes a lifetime to learn to be like Jesus as we live out our journeys of faith.