Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A Fresh New Start

2006 is past! 2007 is here, and with each new year we are given a new fresh start. It's a time when we renew our resolutions for the upcoming year, a time to change patterns that we are not happy with, a time to make a new beginning! There's a verse in Philippians 3 that I think is important for us to remember, however. In order to make a fresh start, we need to forget the past! We all had moments in 2006 or in earlier years that we regret---we wish somehow those moments would not have occurred---we think of them with sorrow, disdain, or discouragement if we ponder them for any length of time. Philippians 3:13-14 admonishes us that we need to forget those things that are behind us. There is nothing we can do about them. We cannot take them back, we cannot change the circumstances, they happened! But we can certainly change our attitudes about them. We have two choices: we can mull and mull them over and over in our minds and go deeper and deeper in regret, remorse and pain and end up in a pit of mire that will be hard to climb out from; OR, we can apply Philippians 3:13, "Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it (God's goals). But one thing I do: Forgetting those things that are behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

We need to forget the past mistakes we made and strive from this day forward to press on toward the goal that God has set before us. God remembers our sins no more----why should we hold tightly to the sins that so easily beset us? We need to look forward with hope, courage and determination to a future that God promises us. Put our mistakes behind us---God has forgiven them---we need to forgive ourselves and move forward! We need to forgive others who have harmed us or hurt us in the past and move to the place where we can stop blaming and start living with a changed heart and purpose! There is no good thing that can happen by holding on to the past and refusing to move past that particular hurt. God has a goal for us---to live our lives abundantly, filled with energy, purpose, and joy through His Holy Spirit. He cannot move us, if we refuse to put behind us those sins that keep cropping up over and over again through our refusal to let them go. Unforgiveness will ultimately lead to a root of bitterness around our heart that will squeeze the very life out of us and leave us a miserable, sad human being.

I end with Colossians 3:12-13:

"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord has forgiven you."

May your new year begin with a fresh new attitude and determination to live for God's goals and purposes for your life!


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