New Year, New Me!
We’ve all heard this instagram horsecrap before. Somebody gets all fired up and hope and optimism around the New Year – maybe they read a book from a motivational guru, or they are just convinced that it’s time to make a change.
We often look at it with skepticism, because we’ve seen that same person do this EVERY January. By February they’re pounding fiery cheetos and acting like a douche all over again.
While we may not be a fan of fair-weather life transformation, the start of something new, a new year, a new decade, certainly seems like a convenient time to evaluate our lives. How do we measure up?
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started a diet on January 2, only to find myself caving in by the end of the month. I can’t begin to count the number of years I’ve vowed to turn over a new leaf, and found myself digging through the trash to find the old leaf.
We know that God is a God of second chances.
All through scripture, and history, we see stories of God giving man a chance to be redeemed, and start fresh.
The entire picture of Jesus, being born, dying, and coming back to life is what Christianity is all about. Our first ritual, baptism, is a picture of that – to die to our old ways, to be buried under the water, and to come back to life.
New year or not, getting a clean slate and a fresh start is at the very core of what it means to walk with God.
Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.
2 Corinthians 5:16-20 MSG
What does a fresh start look like for you?
Are there things you need to stop doing?
Do you need to ask God for forgiveness?
Do you need to make a clean break with behaviors or attitudes?
Are there things you must start to do that you have not been doing?
I know that for everything we are not, and everything we break and screw up, God can bring forgiveness, wholeness, and freedom. We’ve got to come to Him humble and ask Him, and then as He changes the inside, we work together with Him on the outside.
Then I let it all out;
I said, “I’ll make a clean breast of my failures to God.”
Suddenly the pressure was gone—
my guilt dissolved,
my sin disappeared.
These things add up. Every one of us needs to pray;
when all hell breaks loose and the dam bursts
we’ll be on high ground, untouched.
God’s my island hideaway,
keeps danger far from the shore,throws garlands of hosannas around my neck.
Let me give you some good advice;
I’m looking you in the eye
and giving it to you straight:
“Don’t be ornery like a horse or mule
that needs bit and bridle
to stay on track.”
Psalm 32: 5-9 MSG
As we look at our fresh start, my encouragement to you is to make a plan. Be diligent with that plan. Don’t just try to wing it.
The plans of the diligent lead to profit
as surely as haste leads to poverty.
If there are changes you want to make, take the time to work through a plan of action. If you want to change the way you behave, you must change the way you feel, and to change the way you feel, you have to change the way you think. That takes effort, intentionality, and discipline.
Don’t stay where you are, if there’s more out there for you. Don’t be content with a less than best version of yourself, when God has even better for you. Don’t just expect God to be your fairy godmother and bibbidy bobbity boop you into your new life, either. There’s a grand and glorious work to do – and He wants to do it with you.
Manlihood.com provides personal development for men. Our goal is to help enrich men’s lives and to help them become better men. We believe spirituality is an essential part of that component. We understand that not everyone subscribes to a judeo-christian belief system, but we know that a large part of our audience is encouraged to be better men through the paradigm that we share. Our hope is that all men can see and learn to experience fulfillment through faith in Christ, but we also know that not everyone will. Our secondary hope is that by sharing these Spiritual Sunday posts, that even those who may not agree, would be able to at the very least, understand our mindset, and possibly even find something helpful and applicable to their lives. We’re not banging on our Bible or cramming Jesus down anyone’s throat. We are simply processing these experiences through the lens of faith, and inviting all to look with us.