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A fresh start for the new year


Last updated 12/27/2012 at Noon

For many of us, this is the time when we set new goals for the coming year. We do this partly because we aren’t completely satisfied with who we were the year before. We all wish we could have been better. So as a result of our disappointment, we make a list, either written or internal, of all the things we want to do next year to better ourselves.

Instead of only setting our sights on new things we want to accomplish, we should also plan on getting rid of some of the bad habits that we have had. Isn’t that really what New Year’s resolutions are all about? Don’t we make “the list” out of an inner dissatisfaction with ourselves? I believe so! I believe that what we really want to change in our lives is not a situation, circumstance, or even our appearance. What we really want to change is ourselves.

What if you could? What if in 2013 you could actually stop being the old you that you aren’t really too fond of and find the new you you’ve always wanted? Now that would not only be a great goal but a great achievement.

Luckily for us, one of the writers in the Bible spoke about this goal. He said, “Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Now you might not be a very religious, church-going person but you still have to admit that getting rid of the old person (with all of its bad habits, choices, and hangups) and becoming a new person (with a fresh future, a purpose for living, and a place to belong) sounds extremely appealing. In fact, you don’t have to be religious at all to agree that getting rid of the bad parts of ourselves and replacing them with better parts is a universally good idea.

Well, the good news is that it is possible and not by doing what you might think. It’s not possible through a set of lists that highlight your year’s dos and don’ts. The only way to find the change that you’ve so desperately been looking for is by changing what and who you belong to.

I know it might seem like a radical idea to you but here’s a question for you: “Why not?” Really, what have you got to lose? We spend year after year banging our heads against the wall missing the mark we set for ourselves only to end up frustrated at who we’ve become and angered by the habits we just can’t seem to break.

Why not start this year fresh by giving Jesus Christ a chance? Allow him to help you begin a new life, a life full of forgiveness, purpose, and belonging. This might be your first time to give Jesus a try or it might be your one hundredth. No matter where you are on the list the truth remains. If you’re going to change who you are you must change what and who you belong to. It’s what we belong to that shapes our ideals, character, and our future.

Won’t you allow Jesus to give you the fresh start you’ve always wanted? Let this year be the best year of your life. Start it with Jesus at the top of your list. You’ll never regret it!

Pastor Zachary Elliot is with Fusion Christian Church.


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