Here is an exercise we sometimes do at the end of the year or the beginning. However, taking time for daily introspection is a great habit to get into.
Health professionals who work with older people with cognitive loss recommend practicing a simple exercise to stimulate memory. Every evening, when going to bed, we must take the time to think about everything we did during the day, hour by hour. “I woke up at this time, I did this, that… I ate this… I talked to this person…” If this exercise is recommended for people who need to stimulate their memory, why not practice it now, while we are healthy!? That can only be beneficial!
Especially if we take this time to reflect with the Lord. Taking the time to reflect on what we did during the day, taking the time to present it all to the Lord, is a good way to identify the areas we need to improve, the traps we have fallen into, and the people God calls us to help. “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalms 139:23-24 NIV).
For example, if we reflect on the time we have spent with God today, on what we have learned in the Bible, perhaps we will realize that we have not paid attention to the Holy Spirit today. Understanding that we could have done better, it’s a safe bet that the next day we will be more careful. It’s a great way to grow spiritually. And the Holy Spirit is ready to help us with this. “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (James 1:5 NIV).
If we talk to God about an altercation we had during the day with a colleague, God will certainly encourage us to forgive that person, and perhaps even give us avenues for reconciliation. Because forgiveness is something that we must receive every day and that we must also give every day, as Jesus taught us. “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matthew 6:12 NIV).
When we meditate on the new knowledge we have acquired during the day, even if we are no longer students, this knowledge will be etched more deeply into our memory. “What did I learn today?” If we can’t answer this question, perhaps it’s because it would be good to expose ourselves to new information. Learning is a great way to keep our brains healthy. No wonder God says to “meditate” on the Word and not just read it. “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful” (Joshua 1:8 NIV).
If you want to be successful and healthy, getting into the habit of daily self-reflection is a great idea. God Himself tells us not to go to bed angry (Ephesians 4:26) or worried (Psalms 4:8). And after having done this little cleaning inside our heart, with the help of the Holy Spirit, our sleep will be assured and restful. “Indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you, the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm, he will watch over your life” (Psalm 121:4-7 NIV).