We should REFLECT on our PERSONAL life JOURNEY: "Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you. Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left; remove your foot from evil." (Prov. 4:25-27)
Our personal life journey is an adventure that is not just a means to an end; rather it is an expression of who we are. By looking at the choices we make and the reasons behind them, we see ourselves reflected just as surely as if we stood before a mirror and saw our physical features. God’s Word is symbolized as a mirror (see James 1:23), and the above scriptures depicts our life as a pathway. In this chapter (Proverbs 4), Solomon reminds his son to hear and retain his instruction and to do so from deep within his heart (v. 1).
Let us remember that our outward conduct is only an indication of who we really are inwardly (vv. 20–23). Our godly living is revealed by our godly speech and godly behavior (vv. 24–25). It is like walking on a straight and level path (vv. 26–27). We should keep God’s commandments in our hearts and carefully keep our eyes and feet centered in the ways of God without deviating. We should have constancy of heart and purpose, honesty in speech, steadiness of gaze, and a right goal in walk and life as we move forward in our personal life journey.
As of today, we are completing the first half of this year. Just like any organization that takes stock of their inventory, checks their financial books, and evaluates their accomplishments against their plans as their mid-year evaluation, it will be beneficial for us to reflect on our personal life journey today. We should understand that our life is not just about work, or family, or spiritual growth, or leisure time taken individually. It is about finding balance among all of them, so that we can find success and satisfaction in our lives as we fulfill God’s plans and purposes for us!
Often we are so busy that we never take time to consider where we are going, or why we are going there. However, God has created us with the capacity for self-reflection through which we can think about ourselves, evaluate our lives, and make changes in the light of what we see. Through this exercise, we are sharpening our tools so that we are more effective in our ministry as we try to fulfill God’s purpose here on earth. As God’s people, looking back on our past lives in order to reflect on what God has accomplished will be a worthwhile exercise for us. We should be aware that this “theological reflection” was a habit of many people of yester years, and is especially important for us today. So, let us take some time out and reflect on our personal life journey as we do a self-evaluation by asking ourselves the following questions:
- What is God’s plan for our lives? In this regard, have we ever “presented our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable to God”? Are we "transformed by the renewing of our minds" so that we can "prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God"? (Rom. 12:1-2)
- How far have we progressed in achieving God’s plan for our lives? Have we made any sincere attempt in this regard?
- Have we grown or changed for the better in the past years? Or, have we taken a step or two backward like Prophet Jonah running away from obeying God? If so, what practical changes do we need to make to turn our lives around?
- How is our testimony regarding what God has done for us in the past distinguishing us from non-Christians in our workplace or neighborhood? Have we witnessed about Jesus to the people in our sphere of influence in obedience to the command of Jesus in Acts 1:8?
- Have we positively influenced other people in recent years by genuinely touching and changing their lives for the better?
- Are we headed in the right direction today as we fulfill God’s purpose for us? If we continue to move in this exact direction forward, are we going to reach our intended destination at the end of our life’s journey?
- Are we honoring God and bringing glory to Him? If so, how are we honoring God at our workplace, in our homes, and in our community?
- Finally, are we deliberately avoiding evil places, people and practices? In our past life so far, have we said “no” in order to “remove our feet from evil” (v. 27)?