Personal Growth

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A few weeks ago, I was listening to one of my coaching clients, and she mentioned three words in our conversation: focused, fearless and free. I knew immediately that those were three words that God had for me as I enter 2019. And my guess is that they might be for you as well.

As I've been thinking about those three words, I've had a few thoughts:

Focused: Focus is crucial. It's so easy to get sidetracked or distracted from what really matters. The wise writer of Hebrews wrote, "Therefore, since we are encompassed with such a great cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. Let us look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God" (Heb. 12:1-2).

As we enter 2019, may I challenge you? Fix your eyes on Jesus. In the Greek, the phrase "fix our eyes" means to give undivided attention. It signifies looking away from anything that distracts you from your walk with Christ. If you fix your eyes on people, they'll disappoint you. If you fix your eyes on your circumstances, you'll be discouraged. If you fix your eyes on the world events, you'll be depressed. Fix your eyes on Jesus and stay focused on what He's called you to do.

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One of the ways Steve and I have tried to keep our focus on Jesus has been to keep a gratitude journal. At dinner each night, we list the top three blessings of the day and give thanks together as a couple for all the goodness of the Lord. Gratitude is just one simple way to keep your focus on Christ.

Fearless: I believe God is calling His children to rise up and live boldly. Paul wrote in his letter to Timothy, "For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and self-control" (2 Tim. 1:7). What does it look like for you to live boldly for Christ in 2019? Maybe it means taking a risk and going on a mission trip. Maybe it means increasing your giving. Maybe it means boldly sharing your faith with your neighbor. I dare you. Ask God what it looks like to live boldly for Him.

Free: So many of us live in bondage to what other people think of us. But Christ has called us to freedom. He has accomplished our freedom through the cross. "For freedom Christ freed us. Stand fast therefore and do not be entangled again with the yoke of bondage" (Gal. 5:1).

May I ask you a personal question? How much brain space do you give to worrying about what others might think of you? Here's the thing—God calls us to nurture our relationships, but He never calls us to worry about what others are thinking. I believe when we truly internalize God's love, we are free to love others rather than be enslaved to them.

As you stand on the brink of 2019, why not consider what it might look like for you to live focused, fearless and free this year?

Happy New Year, friends!

Becky Harling, an author, certified speaker, leadership coach and trainer with the John Maxwell Team, is an energetic and motivational international speaker inspiring audiences to overcome their greatest life challenges and reach their full God-given potential. Her most recent book is How to Listen So People Will Talk. Her husband, Steve Harling, is the president of Reach Beyond, a nonprofit organization seeking to be the voice and hands of Jesus around the world.

This article originally appeared at

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