More Self-Evident Truths for the New Year

January 2, 2000

Several weeks ago I put forth a modest collection of “self-evident truths.” Here are a few more that seem appropriate for the beginning of a new year. 1. If it’s truly important, you will find time to do it. How many times have we made excuses for not doing something when in the end, we know we didn’t do it because it just wasn’t very important to us? Actions speak louder than words. Faith without works is dead.

2. Take small steps if you want to make big changes. Many times we give up on changing our situation because we want to do it all, do it now, and get it over with quickly. But you can’t lose 40 pounds in a week and you can’t learn German in a month and you can’t learn the Bible by swallowing a magic capsule. But great progress is possible with God’s help if we are willing to take small steps in a new direction one day at a time.

3. You can’t change the past. The past is past. You can’t go back to improve it and you can’t go back to relive it. At some point you have to let go of the past and move forward with God into the future.

4. 90% of what you worry about never happens. It’s easy to spend hours worrying about things that will never happen. And we end up wasting time and emotional energy that could be better spent in helping others, growing in our walk with God, or simply spending time with those we love.

5. You can’t control what happens to you, but you can control how you respond. I’m not a prophet but I can confidently predict that some things will happen to you in 2000 that would seem unbelievable if you knew about them in advance. Strange stuff happens to all of us. You can’t predict it, you can’t stop it, you can’t control it, but you can decide how you will respond to it. Healthy people focus on responding to the unexpected. They don’t waste time wringing their hands over what might have been.

6. God’s grace is greater than your weakness. This is truly good news for all of us because no matter what may or may not happen, we’re going to need a big helping of grace in the months to come. And some of us with an extra scoop or two because of dumb mistakes we’re going to make. It would be better not to make the dumb mistakes, but if you do, remember that God’s grace will be there when you need it.

7. He’s God and we’re not. This is the ultimate self-evident truth. If you forget it, God will remind you.

And on that positive note, I wish you a happy new year filled with blessings from the Lord.

Do you have any thoughts or questions about this post?