Questions for Self-reflection at the New Year

These few days between Christmas and New Year are my favorite time to sit and reflect. In the lull between the hustle, my attention turns to assessing the old year and planning for the new.

Self-reflection

Self-reflection is the spiritual practice of paying attention, and it is very important to the health of our soul. The practice helps to reveal those things that draw us away from God. It also aids in our spiritual formation.

Searching the soul is not an easy task. In fact, it’s a very difficult and humbling experience. One that causes us to realize that we are not quite as wonderful as we think we are, and that life is not all about us. There may even be times when self-reflection is extremely painful.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart!  Try me and
know my thoughts!  And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!”

Psalm 139:23-24

Engaging in periods of personal self-reflection helps us to learn more about ourselves than we ever knew before – hard things. It will reveal things we wish we did not know, things we do not want to admit to ourselves and especially not to others, and things that need to be acknowledged and dealt with.

The Benefits

The spiritual practice of soul searching is hard. However, the benefits of the discomfort and, yes, even the pain are so worth it. It is through the recognizing, acknowledging, and releasing to God of these very hard personal things that we are drawn closer to Him. And it is here where we discover that God has given us a greater purpose; a purpose for His glorification and kingdom advancement, not a purpose that revolves around us. In the hard work of honest self-reflection is where we learn to “walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit (Romans 8:4).

Engaging in Self-reflection

As this year ends and the new one awaits, here are a few thoughtful questions you might choose to work through as an exercise in self-reflection. As you read through the questions, commit to answering them honestly, even if the truth is hard. Take some time. Don’t hurry through this task. You might even make the choice to record your answers in a self-reflection journal. This added element will provide you with information for future observances of self-reflection and become a written record of your spiritual journey.

QUESTIONS FOR SELF-REFLECTION*
  • Has there ever been a time in my life that I was more in love with Jesus than I am right now?
  • In which spiritual discipline do I most want to make progress this year, and what will I do about it?
  • How well am I obeying His Word?
  • Am I worshipping Him for who He is, not for what He does for me?
  • Am I grumbling and complaining? Do I try to have an “Attitude of Gratitude?”
  • Am I modeling His nature and character in my choices?
  • Am I taking every thought captive and making it obedient to Christ?
  • What am I currently doing that I need to say “no” to?
  • What is the single biggest timewaster in my life, and what will I do about it this year?
  • What is one thing I can do this year to enrich the spiritual legacy I will leave to my children and grandchildren?
  • Have I grown in the last five years? In the last year?
  • What is one habit I would most like to establish this year?
  • Am I investing my life into the lives of others?

I’d love to hear from you. What are your thoughts on the spiritual practice of self-reflection? Do you have any questions your find personally challenging as you engage in self-reflection? Please share.


*Some questions in the list taken from:
Consider Your Ways by Donald Whitney
5 Key Self-Reflections for Leadership Growth by Jim Wideman