Every January, I go through the ritual of cleaning out my old files. Receipts, bills paid, things that I have accumulated throughout the year that no longer need to be kept. As I go through each file folder, I make a decision whether it’s something I need to keep or needs to be discarded. It’s a way of starting a new beginning, a fresh year to put away with the old and start a new.
I am always reminded of the bible verse from 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NASB) 17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
It’s easy to go through the files and discard what we don’t need anymore but when it comes to our own life, we find it hard to go through those files.
Sometimes the decisions are not so easy when it comes to things in our life that we need to discard. We carry unneeded baggage with us from year to year and it can get so that our shoulders ache and our backs get burdened down with them to the point that we just stop. We stop living for the day and can get to the point that we just want to give up. It can get so heavy that we can’t find the strength to go on one more step in today, but instead live in the baggage of yesterday.
One of the greatest things that most men hold on to is the words that people have spoken into our life like:
“You’ll never amount to nothing”
“You’ll never change”
“I’ve heard that before”.
Our minds can be so cluttered with things of the past that we can’t seem to find a new beginning.
In Roman’s 12:2, we find words that we can hold as we face the New Year.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Five words that can make the difference as we face the New Year…”the renewing of your mind” – Most of the battles we face start in our minds, battle lines drawn between the old life and the new. Maybe it’s time we let go of the past and begin to live with a fresh new spirit within us.
With the New Year here, we have the opportunity to make things new, to discard the things of the past that hold us back from being a new creature in Christ but we have to make some hard decisions. Some questions we can ask ourselves as the New Year unfolds are:
1. If I carry this, will it help me this year
2. If I let go of this, will my life be better
Simple questions but they can challenge us to clean out the old and start a new beginning!
-Tom Sember is the former men's ministry director for the New York District of the Assemblies of God. He currently is a men's ministry speaker and author and works closely with Mantour Ministries during our Mantour Conferences. He also publishes a daily devotional for men. To connect with Tom or to receive his daily devotional, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org