“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
2 Corinthians 5:17
As I write this, it’s Dec 31st, which for many cultures is New Year’s Eve. Reflecting upon this night and this time of year, I think about how often through-out my life I have heard the phrase, “new year, new you.” It generally refers to the trope that we not only can but should “reinvent” ourselves with the coming year. This phrase is usually paired with the dreaded “New Year’s Resolutions” wherein we must become leaner, fitter, brighter, shinier, healthier (aka, “better”) versions of ourselves. Inherent in this is the underlying message that there is something wrong with the “old” us and that this unacceptable version of “us” needs to be discarded at the stroke of midnight.
For many (me among them for much of my life) this night can tend to emphasize worldly desires and goals. And it places what feels like a huge burden on our shoulders.
As well, for those of us who live and work in resort communities, all around us is the manifestation of the ”out with the old, in with the new” mentality—everywhere you look there are parties, rowdy celebrations and a lot of vacationers having their last hurrah before they head home to their “real lives.” It can be very challenging to hear that “still small voice” among all the noise, din and clamor.
Since giving my life to the Lord Jesus Christ six years ago, when this day approaches, I am always so grateful for the messages contained in the Bible reminding me that I don’t have to work so hard to be “better” or to be “new.” I no longer need be pressured into making myself “better” in the eyes of man or the world, because I have already been made a “new creature” in Christ! My old heart of stone was replaced with one of flesh. His mercies are new every morning and they are not predicated on how much time I spend at the gym, how many self-help books I read or calories I forsake.
Because I am His, He loves me just as I am.
Through Him, I am forevermore and always a “New Me.”
As we enter this first week of 2023, let us all be encouraged by the fact that, as 2 Corinthians 5:19 says, “God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation.”
The good news is that you already ARE a “New You”! And it has absolutely nothing to do with the New Year and all to do with He Who came to save us!
In what area of your life do you find yourself getting pulled into the concerns of this world at this time of year? Where do you need Jesus’ acceptance to fall upon you?
Read 2 Corinthians 5: 14-21—how can you demonstrate that kind of “reconciliatory love” to yourself and others this week?
How can you be “Christ’s ambassador” this week as 2023 begins?
By Donna Devlin|Bethlehem, NH