These landmarks are as good a time as any to take stock spiritually and consider who God wants us to be and what he wants us to do in the year ahead. So perhaps I can share with you three biblical resolutions to consider.
'Consider how we may to spur one another on towards love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another'. (3) The Christian Medical Fellowship is a fellowship. It is individual Christian medics encouraging one another; praying together; studying God's word together and reminding one another of the goodness of God. It is this that builds us up as the body of Christ. If this is going to happen it is up to each one of us to give time and effort to encouraging one another. This is why CMF has set out a vision to have a Christian'link' for every locality, workplace, speciality, church and deanery.If there is no link in your place of work perhaps we shouldn't just hope for someone else to do it – think about starting something.
'Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others'. (4) In your relationships with one another 'have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant'. (5)
As our health service undergoes massive change it is crying out for servant leaders, women and men who will put patients, carers and colleagues first – rather than prioritising their own personal convenience, or defending their professional privilege. Challenging though this may be, there have seldom been more opportunities to take on clinical leadership positions. We are commanded to be 'salt and light', so should we at least consider if we are called to be servant leaders in our practices, clinical commissioning groups,hospitals or deaneries?
'In your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.' (6) For many in the health service, patients and staff alike, life seems very uncertain and hope is in short supply. As Christian doctors we have hope in Christ Jesus, an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. (7) As we live out this hope serving our patients and our colleagues we will be asked to give the reason for the hope that we have. We really do have good news that is worth telling. Perhaps we can all resolve to consider how we can do this more effectively.
Nick Land is a consultant psychiatrist and medical director in the northof England and former Chairman of CMF.