As 2017 finishes and we look ahead to 2018, let us not fall into the trap of only looking at ourselves. How easily and yet how discouraging (or self-exalting) it can be to only look at our achievements in 2017 or our plans in 2018, and to do so while missing Christ, his work, and his plans.
Instead, as we finish one year and go into the next, let us look to Christ first and most. Let us give thanks for all he has given us and pray for grace to walk in the plans he has for us. And from this settled place of rest in him, let us evaluate 2017 and plan for 2018.
On this note, Robert Murray McCheyne’s wise counsel stands, some 177 years after it was written.
Learn much of your own heart; and when you have learned all you can, remember you have seen but a few yards into a pit that is unfathomable. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jer. 17:9). Learn much of the Lord Jesus. For every look at yourself, take ten looks at Christ. He is altogether lovely. Such infinite majesty, and yet such meekness and grace, and all for sinners, even the chief! Live much in the smiles of God. Bask in his beams. Feel his all-seeing eye settled on you in love, and repose in his almighty arms. Cry after divine knowledge, and lift up your voice for understanding. Seek her as silver, and search for her as for hid treasure, according to the word in Prov. 2:4. See that verse 10 be fulfilled in you. “Let wisdom enter into your hearts, and knowledge be pleasant to your soul; so you will be delivered from the snares mentioned in the following verses. Let your soul be filled with a heart-ravishing sense of the sweetness and excellency of Christ and all that is in Him. Let the Holy Spirit fill every chamber of your heart; and so there will be no room for folly, or the world, or Satan, or the flesh. (Letter to Mr. George Shaw, Belfast, 16 Sept 1840).
In 2018 let us look to Christ. And from a steady gaze upon him, may we consider ourselves.
Soli Deo Gloria, ds