Last year a bunch of stuff happened. Some good and some not so good. Some of us secured promotions, got married, became first time parents and graduated from college. Our families became closer, finances improved and we got a piece of land somewhere. But for some of us, the case is different.
But to others last year was not as rosy. Some of us treated our spouses unkindly, some of us out rightly rebelled against our parents, we were absentee fathers and mothers and family factions formed. At work we lied in our reports, stole finances and got caught. We gossiped, hurt significant others and hurried to do evil. We lost loved ones and life became unbearable, we just stopped living and depression kicked in. We lost our humanity and forgot the example that Jesus set for us. For another property we worked so hard for was lost in the twinkle of an eye. And for others trust was lost and relationships were bitterly broken. The most annoying thing about all these changes is if we just may have messed up as individuals
‘We are perfect on the outside in every way but in the depths of our hearts lies the twisted tale that we really aren’t perfect at all.’
Such is life and what makes life what it is. Ain’t no mountains with no valleys? Yet one thing remains the same, that each of us are on the move and every year something, whether ‘Good’ or ‘Bad’ gives us the opportunity to start over again. . Our biggest enemy when stuff like this happens is regret. For some reason, we are unable to recover from the pain and shame of yesterday’s mistakes.
David serves us our best example when we think of starting over in 2nd Samuel 11-12. Although he had his heights, David had his equal share of lows. The man called ‘a man after Gods own heart’ had led Israel against ancient civilization’s greatest armies. But David equally failed. His Moral Failure opened a door to a burning jealousy which killed Uriah an army general, an adulterous relationship and the death of his illegitimate son. His relationship with the Father was probably at its lowest than any other time in his life history. And all of us have a bit of David in us.
We are perfect on the outside in every way but in the depths of our hearts lies the twisted tale that we really aren’t perfect at all. The word says that ‘the heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who can understand it?’ (Jeremiah 17:9) and with wickedness comes the unnerving fact that we are prone to major failure.
But there is good news. This year we can start over. In 2016 we have two choices to make; we can either continue operating in our state of self-pity, shame and pain or we can choose to shake of the dust, embrace the love that Christ has for us and strive for joy in him!
‘David’s cry was heard and he recovered what was lost; his relationship with God, his position as a man and he even got another son with Bathsheba.’
David upon realizing his failure fell to the earth in desperation, prayed and fasted all night. He cried and repented to God acknowledging his sin against God and men. David’s cry was heard and he recovered what was lost; his relationship with God, his position as a man and he even got another son with Bathsheba. And the same goes for us. We need to realize our failure and self-centered actions which have not been pleasing to God and hurt those around us. Our first step in starting over is repentance. Have I sinned against God and can i be humble enough to approach his throne of Grace surrendering my weaknesses and pains for his loving tenderness and mercy? Godly grief produces repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldy grief produces death (2nd Corinthians 7:10). Our second step is reconciliation; can I smoothen out those relationships that have been severed prior to 2017 and by God’s grace rebuild its foundation on Christ the solid rock?
We like David can do everything over again. We can do 2017 in the right way for ourselves, our family, community and generation. We need to step up and allow God to take charge in 2017. For a righteous man falls down seven times, and rises again (Proverbs 24:16)
2017 is our CHANCE TO START OVER
Author: Vicky Mulema