“I am tomorrow, or some future day, what I establish today. I am today what I established yesterday or some previous day.” (James Joyce)
As we welcome the start of a new year, we can determine what tone we choose to set. Do we choose to have an attitude of a winner, or that of a troubled lowly spirit? Do we stretch ourselves and our goals, giving it our all, or do we under achieve due to our own fear of failure? We hold the power in determining how good or bad 2018 will be.
The book Soul Keeping by John Ortberg highlights the importance of looking after our souls. He defined our souls as follows: “Your soul is what integrates your will (your intentions), your mind (your thoughts and feelings, your values and conscience), and your body (your face, body language and actions) into a single life. A soul is healthy – well-ordered – when there is harmony between these three entities and God’s intent for all creation. When you are connected with God and other people in life, you have a healthy soul.”
The difference between body, soul and spirit is not easily quantified. With my body, I connect with the physical realm and my spirit connects with the spiritual realm. With my mind or soul, I am able to interact with the intellectual, emotional and spiritual realms.
We often start the year with defined goals and plans of how we are to achieve these desired goals. My challenge for 2018 is to contemplate the purpose of my life and to consider who I am and who I want to strive to be.
A story told by John Ortberg is worth mentioning, it’s a tale about a worship pastor who became famous because of his amazing vocal and musical abilities. However, he had a severe stroke and lost his ability to sing and play the piano.
He had not only lost his talents, but had also lost a part of what had defined him as a person. What now? How does anyone bounce back from that unscathed? This very pastor wrote in a letter: “Inside I am the same person, the same sense of humour, the same thoughts. But my words betray me. … But God hears me. My world is small and quiet, and slow and simple. No stage. No performance. More real. Good.”
Defining Who We Are
It’s with great relief that God’s Word beautifully defines who we are:
- I am alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:5).
- I am far from oppression, and fear does not come near me (Isaiah 54:14).
- I have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16; Philippians 2:5).
- I have the Greater One living in me; greater is He Who is in me than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4).
- I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ unto good works (Ephesians 2:10).
As we step into 2018, I pray that we will focus more on being who God has called us to be – being true to the gifting in us, listening more for God’s voice. It is good to do but our doing needs to come from a place of being first for our impact on the world to be exponential.
About the Author: Dr Alan Louis is a third generation entrepreneur in a family with a 100-year business history. He devoted his life to Christianity as a child. Awarded a PhD in Commerce, is an Ultra Ironman Triathlete Gold medallist and was inducted in the IBC Hall of Fame for entrepreneurship. Internationally he has served on more than 100 private corporate boards, and has experienced the trials and successes of commerce for 3 decades.