Three Things to Leave Behind in 2021

We’ve been through various collective, societal experiences this year, including the continued effects of a pandemic, global supply chain issues, and what they’re calling the ‘Great Resignation’. 

Cultural reality is constantly shifting. To accommodate, we must leave behind mindsets and habits that hinder us from moving forward and revise long-standing routines, or risk becoming burnt out. 

As we enter into a new year, let’s be intentional about abandoning these three things:

  • Our Desire for ‘Normalcy’

I’ve heard friends and peers share their hope for a return to normalcy. Most wish to go back in time before COVID-19 transformed our realities. I understand this sentiment. Life had a certain cadence that has since been taken away. 

With the new year just around the corner, I don’t want to fall into the trap of spending energy waiting and wishing for life to be exactly as it used to be. I have found freedom in embracing the new abnormal. 

In several ways, the past season sharpened OneHope, and me personally, for the better. New restrictions fueled my team to create innovative practices, especially in the digital arena. On a personal level, I learned the importance of reaching out to those I love even when they’re far away, a practice I will continue strengthening. 

Though this year has been challenging, I encourage you to take a moment to recognize the ways in which you grew stronger through obstacles. 

  • Outdated Routines

In 2020, I had to restructure my daily routine during the months spent at home. With my travel schedule halted, I was blessed with more time to spend with the Lord during times of quarantine. I enjoyed being in His presence for prolonged periods of time without distractions. Even though the season of quarantine has passed, I’ve become more intentional about finding additional moments to spend with the Lord. 

Time in God’s Word can easily be forgotten, and if you find that happening in your own life, I invite you to find a devotional routine that better fits you. For those who are visual, watching a video devotional might be more engaging than reading. Maybe taking a walk in nature while listening to the Word allows you to more easily dwell in God’s presence. Whatever your preference is, I encourage you to define your priorities and decide what your devotional time will look like in the new year. For more ideas on how to improve your devotional time, check out this blog post my friend Joel Stockstill wrote! 

Take a moment to reflect on these questions: are there any routines in your life that are no longer serving you well? If so, how can you refresh them? 

  • A Spirit of Incivility

This has been a difficult season for many, fueled by division, dissent, and polarization during a time we all would’ve benefited from unity. There seemed to be a complete departure from empathy and understanding. Oftentimes, it felt like voicing any personal opinion would be met with angry opposition. 

In order for there to be any change in the world, one must start within. I want to be intentional about living with a humble and loving spirit toward anyone I encounter, especially in situations where disagreements may arise. As believers, we should strive to leave space for understanding and peaceful conversation. Let’s live in a way that honors God by following the teachings of Colossians 3:12, clothing ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 

As I reflect on 2021, these verses come to mind: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!” Isaiah 43:18-19. I invite you to join me in keeping an open heart and mind to all the new things God is doing in our lives. 

As you prepare for 2022, take some time to reflect: What do you feel called to leave behind in 2021?

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Rob Hoskins is the president of OneHope. Since taking leadership of OneHope in 2004, he has continued to advance the vision of God’s Word. Every Child. by partnering with local churches to help reach more than 1.8 BILLION children and youth worldwide with a contextualized presentation of God’s Word.

5 thoughts on “Three Things to Leave Behind in 2021

  1. So precious and inspiring message to prepare myself to live with a new hope in the coming new year.

    Thank you so much!

  2. THANK YOU VERY MUCH PASTOR FOR REACHING OUT TO ME THIS NEWYEAR.PRAISE GOD SREVANT OF THE MOST HIGH GOD? HOW ARE YOU DOING NOW?
    I HOPE YOU ARE FINE IN JESUS NAME.
    I WANTED TO GREET YOU IN JESUS NAME.
    PASTOR ,I HAVE A BIG QUESTION FOR YOU. DO YOU LOVE ME AS YOUR SPIRITUAL SON?
    HAPPY NEW YEAR 2022?
    MAY GOD BLESS YOU IN JESUS NAME
    YOUR SON IN CHRIST
    SIMON MUSINGA MAKOKHA FROM WEBUYE WEST KENYA

  3. I wish you and your family a very Happy, Prosperous, Productive, and Purposeful and Fulfilling New Year, 2022. God bless you richly, Sir.
    Indeed, we have to leave some things behind as you have stated, and much more, I believe. As Christians, Children, and if you like Servants of God, we are expected by our heavenly father to grow. When a parent find their child unable to walk and speak after one year from birth, they become very alarmed. What is going wrong? They would ask several questions because that would be abnormal as it were.
    In the same way our father in heaven expects growth in his children (2 Peter 3:18). We grow as we learn to amend our ways, correct our wrongs and mistakes. I heard John Maxwell say ” Life is a teacher and will teach us until we learn”. I believe behind life are the laws, principles, and conquencies and rewards, etc of God speaking to us daily or time and again. I think the case of Balaam and his donkey is a good example. God uses anything and everything to speak to us, I believe. Can we hear God’s voice behind what is happening to us and around us?
    One of the things that will help us grow healthily is to walk away from carnality (
    (Romans 8: 6) Anything that refuses to grow will certainly die. God bless us and help us all grow for His Glory.
    God bless you richly and Shalom!, Sir!!

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