Five Areas To Consider As You Step Into 2024

Dr. Elizabeth Ríos
3 min readDec 31, 2023

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Big Stock Photo ID: 285026662 Copyright: deagreez

As followers of Jesus, transitioning from one year to the next offers a unique opportunity for spiritual reflection and growth. Here are five key areas to consider as you end 2023 and step into 2024:

  1. Gratitude for God’s Blessings: As the saying goes, “there is always something to be thankful for!” Reflect on the blessings you’ve received throughout the year. This includes not only material blessings but also spiritual growth, relationships, and the unseen ways God has worked in your life. Acknowledge and give thanks for His provision and presence, even in the smallest aspects of your life.
  2. Forgiveness and Reconciliation: This is probably the hardest area for most of us. Consider the relationships in your life. Are there areas where forgiveness needs to be extended or sought? Jesus emphasized the power of forgiveness and reconciliation. Reflect on any unresolved conflicts or hard feelings and pray for guidance on how to approach reconciliation in the spirit of Christ’s love and humility. I know some people are not mature enough to have these reconciliation conversations. I can think of two people in my own life where this needs to occur, so I don’t write this without thinking about it for myself. Some folks are toxic, so this is not an invitation to bring that into your life (again). But if the people are important to you and they are mature enough to have this conversation AND it won’t bring you mental, physical, emotional pain, consider it. Yet, you don’t need a conversation to forgive.
  3. Spiritual Growth and Discipleship: We should always be growing and developing new aspects of our relationship with the Divine. Evaluate your spiritual journey over the past year. How have you grown in your faith? Reflect on your prayer life, Bible study, and how you’ve lived out the teachings of Jesus in your daily life. Consider setting specific spiritual goals for 2024, such as deepening your prayer life, engaging in regular Bible study, or actively participating in church and community service.
  4. Service and Love for Others: Jesus taught the importance of loving and serving others. Reflect on how you have served those in your community and beyond. Think about how you have shown Christ’s love through acts of kindness, charity, and service. Going into 2024, consider new ways you can be a light in the world and serve others in need.
  5. Trust in God’s Plan: I have been around long enough to know that life often doesn’t turn out how you planned, hoped or expected. But I also know that God has faithfully kept me in all my ups and downs. Reflect on the times you’ve faced challenges and uncertainties. How have these experiences strengthened your trust in God? Consider how you’ve seen God’s hand guiding your path, even in difficult times. Moving into the new year, reaffirm your trust in God’s plan for your life, remembering that His ways are higher than our ways, and His timing is perfect.

As you ponder these areas, remember that reflection is not just about looking back but also preparing your heart and mind for what lies ahead. I wish you all good things as you leave 2023 behind—joy, peace, love, laughter and patience, and strength for the days that these things are far from you in 2024. May your transition into 2024 be filled with a deeper commitment to following Jesus in all aspects of your life.

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Dr. Elizabeth Ríos

NY Diasporican thinker/writer, former pastor, church planter educator and Jesus & justice advocate. Wife and Mom to two boys (one in heaven).