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A fresh start

Who hasn’t made mistakes and longed for a do-over? To be human is to make a mess of things. We’re born making messes and we never quite grow out of the habit.   The great thing about New Year’s is the opportunity to start over. And the great thing about Jesus is that he promises a fresh st…
By Seth Barnes
Who hasn’t made mistakes and longed for a do-over? To be human is to make a mess of things. We’re born making messes and we never quite grow out of the habit.
 
The great thing about New Year’s is the opportunity to start over. And the great thing about Jesus is that he promises a fresh start. “Anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new!”*
 
We go through life plagued by thoughts like “this will never change.” We face an enemy who whispers, “you’ll always be this way.” But these thoughts are holdovers from an old way of living. They are lies that deny the reality that Jesus is in the business of giving his followers makeovers.
 
The fact is, we get to choose how we live. Richard Rohr said it well:
We do not think ourselves into new ways of living.  We live ourselves into new ways of thinking.  In other words, our journeys around and through our realities, or “circumferences,” lead us to the core reality, where we meet both our truest self and our truest God.

It seems that we Christians have been worshipping Jesus’ journey instead of doing his journey.  The first feels very religious; the second just feels human and not glorious at all.  Prepare yourself for the beginning of a new stage in your own journey of doing and being tomorrow.

What do we have to do to make a fresh start? A few small suggestions:
 
1. Identify the behavior that you want to change. For example, most of us are a little too comfortable and too wrapped up in a lifestyle that focuses on meeting our own needs. Decide to change.
 
2. Ask God a question or two. “Lord, what do you think about this behavior of mine? Is this something I should change and if so, how?” Listen to what he says and write it down.
 
3. Share whatever he says to you with a friend and ask for accountability.
 
4. Take a step this week. I’m doing that myself and I’m hoping you’ll join me. I’ll be cheering you on and praying that your fresh start feels exhilarating!
 

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