Reflections on Chinese New Year - Trust & Fret Not

In Chinese New Year, we clean up the house, clear the past debts, have a new start, put on new clothes, visit relatives, say very nice wishes and put up a good show.
Here are some good things about the New Year:
  1. Bring a closure to all outstanding issues.
    In Chinese traditions, all debts are to be cleared. We don't want to start a new year with carried over debts and burden. For believers, let us also bring closures to spiritual and emotional issues besides the physical ones. Let go of our bitterness, make sure our forgiveness is complete and break any strings attached to past bad behaviors by looking and focus on the next thing - the New Hope. Only when an issue is closed, will it not affect us again.
  2. New Hope or New Vision.
    Have a positive outlook for the year. Seriously consider the good wishes received. Internalize them. If man wishes to be that consider how your Heavenly Father wanted you to be. The most famous New Year wish among the Chinese is about Prosperity - fa cai 恭喜发财. But prosperity is just abundance in materials possessions. Life is much more than material well-being. Another one that I preferred is "Everything according to your wish 万事如意" or simply "May your wishes come true".  Ps 37:4 shows us the secret. "Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart". It is important to make sure our wishes are from or agree with God and that will surely bring forth the true blessings. (Prov 10:22) ​​​​​​​​The blessing of the LORD makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.

  3. Physical Reinforcement of Inner Attitude.
    Cleaning house, wearing new dress and shoes are all a reflection of inner newness of life. It could work the other way round as well. Putting on new things causes our spirit to be uplifted. You don't have to choose which is better. Do both. Let the newness of the spirit be shown and let the new things reinforce our inner joy and confidence.
  4. Relationships.
    A great thing in Chinese New Year is the many visitations that re-connect relationships. In the busyness of daily work, we may neglect friends and relatives. It is a good time to take a break and put in the effort to visit them and renew relationships.
  5. Respect.
    Visitations are done according to 'rank' or 'elderliness' in the family and/or relatives. It is a reminder for us to respect our elders and to appreciate their care and bringing-up of us. Even Elders who did nothing or were even bad to us in our growing up days, paying them respect is a reflection of our character and not of theirs. We are children of God and hence should behave like our Heavenly Father.

  6. Trust and Fret Not - Psalm 37
    In our visits of one another, we will come across those that are of higher social and economic status than us. There would be story telling and perhaps gossips. There could be those who gain riches in some short-cut ways and even at our expense. The world tries to tempt us to take short-cuts, stepping on others if needed, to gain riches and success. Those of us who are God honoring in doing the right things seems to be left out in the cold in this big rush for riches. But God gave us Ps 37 to remind and encourage us.
Reflections on Psalm 37
I felt the need to share this Psalm 37. It is a relatively long one of 40 verses. But we could just read the first 10 verses. The other are reinforcements.

Fret Not v1,7

We are to fret not or be envious of the apparent success and riches of the short-cut takers.

Why Not? 
  1. Them: Because their sins will discover them and they will loose all and be gone. v2,
  2. Us: Our anger or envy will cause to do things that are evil - either to become like them in taking short-cuts or just go into self-pity and angry mode and thereby stopping us from doing the useful and right things.
How to Handle it?
  1. We are just to TRUST and continue to do Good (right).v3,5
  2. If there be any bending to do, bend not our integrity but bend our desires so that we may just follow that of the Lord. v4
  3. Wait patiently for Him to promote us.  v7. See Joy in the Meantime- How to Really Wait
  4. We shall live to see the their down fall v10
The Promise & Assurance
  1. The the Lord will truly fulfill these God pleasing desires of us. v4,5
  2. We shall dwell in the land and be fed v3
  3. Our true righteous success will shine out brightly. v6
  4. We shall inherit the earth v9
Don't be concerned about the seemingly success and riches of others, rejoice with the truly successful, and just be concerned with the plan of God for you. Trust in the Lord, commit to Him, do the things according to His commandments, focus with confidence on Him, wait wisely and see the great outcome of God's true blessings in this coming year.

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