The time of year when we think about new things is upon us. With a new year comes a pressure to resolve to new things. It is the magic calendar flip that gives us a “do-over”. For some weight loss is on the resolution list. Others may resolve to spend less money. Still others will look to 2014 as the year they finally kick an old habit. Many will simply resolve not to resolve.
I think the reason we resolve each year is that as humans we are drawn to new beginnings. We want to let the past be behind us and the forge on to the new opportunities ahead. We want to be optimistic about our future and we are refreshed by the idea that we can begin again.
I am so thankful we serve a God who is all about giving new beginnings. He wants to wipe our slate clean. To be honest, I have been known to not offer second chances as easily as I should. Sometimes it is hard for me to let go of the past. However, God promises to cast away the past. But that does not come automatically. He tells us in 1 John 1:9 that if we confess our sins he will always forgive those sins and cleanse us. Like taking a soiled shirt and washing it clean, the dirt of our past is removed when we come humbly to him and confess our sins.
Lamentations tells us this: Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!”
We don’t have to wait until the calendar tells us it is a new year. God’s mercy comes to us anew every morning. As we come before him with our hearts humbled and ask for his forgiveness and grace, he will freely bestow that upon us.
As this new year begins, I pray we will all remember that the new can begin whenever our hearts allow. May our resolution be to live a life more like Christ and to pursue holiness in his sight.