4 Things We Need to Do Less of in 2017

4 Things We Need to Do Less of in 2017

It’s a New Year and if you are like most people you are probably coming up with a whole list of new things you need to start doing this year. Get more serious about your healthy. Start saving more. Get out of debt. You really should do all of that. Do whatever it takes. But there’s only so much time in a day. So here are some things we should give up this year to make way for what we are taking on.

1. Sharing Our Opinions – We’ve all got a right to our opinion. And in most of the Western world we are blessed to be able to share it without any danger. “’I am allowed to do anything”–but not everything is good for you. And even though ‘I am allowed to do anything,’ I must not become a slave to anything.” That’s a direct quote from the Apostle Paul. (1 Cor. 6:12) I’m convinced that lately we’ve become a slave to sharing our own opinions. We spend a whole lot of time doing it. We feel we haven’t truly expressed ourselves if we haven’t aired our opinion about everything happening in the world. But you know who the wisest man who ever lived says is best at airing their opinions? I’ll directly quote him too: “Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions.” (Prov. 18:2) Let’s do less airing of our opinions this year and spend that time reading, asking questions, and having conversations. Let’s seek understanding.

2. Complaining – Complaining is a lack of gratitude. And honestly, if you are reading this it means you’ve got a whole freakin’ lot to be grateful for. Yesterday you drank a $4.00 cup of coffee. You ate a $12 hamburger. You drive a $10,000+ car. There’s a good chance you spend more on your cell phone bill than most people in the world make in a month. Yes, your health may be struggling. You may be “broke.” You may be depressed. But it’s in those moments that we test whether we really believe this faith we profess. When we “give thanks in all circumstances,” (1 Thess. 5:18) we show that we really believe God has been good – no matter what our current situation may be. Ya, you’ve got a ton to be grateful for when you really look at what you’ve got. Which leads to the next thing.

3. Comparing – “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Someone famous once said that. Whoever it was would be rolling over in their grave if they saw Instagram. You can create whatever image you want with a picture. Add a cool filter and a sexy smile to a selfie and no one will know that you were just in tears about a fight you had with your mom (true story). What they don’t know can’t hurt them. Let’s keep the Facebook full of happiness and joy, only smiles. Right? Problem is, we are all prone to envy. Once again Paul offers some sage commentary on comparison: “When they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.” (2 Cor. 10:12) Your real life will never be as cool as the life people depict online – so stop comparing your life to others. Which leads to my next item.

4. Social Media –We know we should spend less time online and more time with real people. We know we shouldn’t engage in those silly online debates. But social media is one of those guilty little pleasures we all just love to indulge in. This year, get off social media and spend that time having some real, face-to-face conversations. Maybe even with total strangers. When you get your eyes off your phone during those “boring” moments – waiting for the plane, at the bank, or for your oil to be changed – you’ll find there are some pretty interesting folks all around you. Some of the greatest doors that have opened in my life were because of conversations with total strangers that then became friends.

There’s probably lots more that we would all benefit from doing less of this year. But let’s start with these and see where it takes us. I’d wager it’ll lead to a pretty amazing year!

Happy New Year!