Friday, 2 January 2015

New Year, Old Issues

I dislike this time of year. Quite aside from summertime in the Southern Hemisphere meaning climbing temperatures and shrinking clothing, there is this expectation of everything being a new start and a new "you" - whatever that means.

The issues we have on December 31st don't magically vanish at midnight. Our struggles and battles continue into the following day, just as they would on any other day. Our hopes and dreams come with us too.

The New Year is a time to ponder and reflect on what has happened in the previous year. To take stock and review. Too often that gets buried in a raucous party of pseudo-friends, family and genuine loved ones staying up into the late night and celebrating another 12 months circling the sun. Personally I don't feel the need to celebrate that on 31st December any more than on July 22nd. Or any other day for that matter. We make "resolutions" which usually last about a week at best and then spend the rest of the year doing much the same as we did the previous year until the following year when we make the same promises all over again.

It's insanity. We fail to change our behaviour, yet our expectation is that we will somehow change our outcome.

Somewhere along the way we need to shift our paradigms. As Christians we should understand this even more than the World. After all, Salvation is a major paradigm shift. We go from being Spiritually dead to being Alive in Christ. There's no bigger shift that I can think of. Yet we struggle often to move beyond that initial change. We get "saved" but nothing really changes. Our health issues remain in spite of healing being available through the atonement. We remain broke despite prosperity being promised to us in both Spiritual and material terms. Even many of us retain our "old man" personalities with bad tempers and grouchiness combined with a difficulty to forgive despite the forgiveness offered to us. I struggle with that on a daily basis - especially in traffic.

We refuse to let go of the past hurts and allow the healing Love of God in the person of the Holy Spirit to come in and comfort and heal us in those broken areas. We remain brittle with reduced strength to fight temptation and sin, too often falling into old habits.

The old issues don't go away in the New Year. They can only go away through a conscious shift in our thinking and behaviour. We need to be transformed by the renewing of our minds into the very likeness of Christ, reflecting His Glory to the World. When we get it right we see miracles happen, lives changed and serious questions asked of us. We need to be ready with the answers.

And even though I'm writing this at the start of 2015, we need to remember it for the rest of the year. It's never too soon to make a change. Never too late to shift our thoughts in line with Gods.

Never too late to put down the old issues and forgive the ones who hurt us.

So Happy New Year, and again for tomorrow. And the next day.

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