Life Review Time
It is THAT time of year… tax time! Covid-19 and our winter storm of 2021 have brought about a new extended tax season and I am guessing that tax preparers welcome the enhanced flexibility. Even so, for most people, taxes are not anything to get excited about. But I thank God for a seminary professor who gave me a new perspective on taxes. My theology professor one day explained how he believed taxes to be an invitation to review life and faith. Each year at tax time, we can pause and remember with thanksgiving God’s graciousness in providing for us each day our daily bread and all that we need to sustain life. Additionally, we can take some time and reflect upon what we have invested our finances into over the past year. We remember Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Tax time can be a heart check-up of sorts: if your finances do not accurately reflect your faith and values, then consider re-aligning your financial priorities to better reflect what is most important to you. Not only have I just completed my own taxes which has brought all of this to mind, but also God has been taking me on a journey of deeper reflection and meditation on my life and faith. In some chapters of my life, I am embarrassed to admit that I have bemoaned such endeavors as a waste of time. Yet lately I have become increasingly aware that without such quiet introspection and time with the Lord I may be wasting the one and only earthly life I will ever live! In other words, I realize now that I cannot afford NOT to invest the time in reflection, meditation, and time with the Lord. So here are eight questions that I am reflecting on in this season and I invite you to join me in this endeavor:
1. How am I doing at intentionally investing in my marriage and family relationships? 2. How am I doing at intentionally investing in and raising up leaders around me? 3. What am I doing that costs me time or other resources that is not bearing much fruit? 4. What am I doing that is important to be done but is not important that I be the one doing it? 5. How am I limiting what God desires to do in and through me and our ministry by holding on too tightly? 6. How is God calling me to invest my time more intentionally into multiplying disciples and churches? 7. How is God calling me to trust him more deeply with every aspect of my life? What am I holding back and why? 8. Do my investments of time, talent, and money reflect my faith and values? This is life review time: Time to thank God for his goodness and mercy and time to reflect on our response in faith. So how are you doing at living the life God is calling you to live? No shame or blame here…just God’s patient and sincere invitation to discipleship: to deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow after Jesus. I pray that as we review our lives and reflect upon them, God might draw us closer to himself and by his Holy Spirit realign our lives to reflect our faith.
Pastor Bryce Formwalt is the Director of Mission Growth for LCMC Texas District and Program Director of Harvest Workers, an online ministry training program (learn more at www.harvestworkers.net). Residing in Georgetown, Pastor Bryce is available to coach congregations on mission. Feel free to contact him with any questions or comments: 512-942-7776 or firstname.lastname@example.org.