Saturday, December 29, 2018

How do I get a new start?

Courage ….

A new start of any kind takes courage. 

Whether I want to start over in an existing relationship, start a new job, or start a new habit, I need courage - the courage to be misunderstood, the courage to fail, the courage to look honestly at my part, or the courage to forgive.

Theodore Roosevelt has a famous quote about this kind of courage. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly . . . . if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Every relationship, every job, and every endeavor hits obstacles eventually. What do I do when I come to an obstacle? The obstacle could be a misunderstanding, an expected difficulty, or a hurt. Do I leave the relationship? Do I shut down? Do I quit the job? Do I give up? OR do I have the courage to try to find a solution?

When courage and commitment are forged together, a new strength comes.

When they are forged, I have the strength to forgive - bringing a new start in the relationship (in marriage, between family members or co-workers or friends).

I will let go of the hurt, not dwell on it, and not try to punish the other person. I will seek to express kindness and compassion in the relationship.

It’s here ……

God gives me a new start!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17

When I know -
  • I am forgiven, I can forgive others. 
  • I am completely loved by Him, I can love others. 
  • I am accepted, I can accept others. 
  • I am cared for by Him, I can care for others. 
  • His kindness towards me, I can be kind towards others. 
  • His compassion for me, I have the same compassion for others. 
I can do all of that because He has made me new; He gives me a new heart and a new spirit. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you. Ezekiel 36:26

His spirit gives me the courage that I need for a new start with others.

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.
1 Corinthians 16:13

By His divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. 1 Peter 1:3

The Past ….

The Past highly influences every person in the present.

For a new start, what do I do with my past?

I CANNOT change the past.

You CANNOT change the past.

No one can change the past.

For me to have a new start, this process can make an immense difference.
  • Forgive the hurts, the offenses of the past. Do not dwell on them. The enemy will bring them to my mind, but I can focus on God’s forgiveness of me instead. I will not punish that person for the hurt. Unforgiven hurts turn into anger, bitterness, and resentment that spill out on those around me. 
  • Look to the past to find the emotional baggage that I am carrying in the present. Were there unhealthy patterns in my family that I have carried into my life - even some that I disliked? Identify those patterns and find ways to change them (may need an objective third party for help). 
  • Examine the past to take responsibility for my own behavior. What unhealthy behaviors do I keep repeating? Refuse to blame others for my own behavior or lack of happiness. Ask God to help you see your part and change with the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. 
  • Rejoice and be grateful for the good things in your past. I can’t repeat those experiences. I don’t want to live in those memories. But I can rejoice in the many blessings that God has given me. In marriage or family or with others, remember the good times instead of only thinking of the stressful times. 
We all have hope for the future!

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13

Focus ….

I can focus my thoughts for a NEW START in the NEW YEAR!

Where I allow my thoughts to dwell will determine my peace and joy.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8

That principle applies to relationships. Think about the good parts of the people around us, instead of dwelling on the negative parts. If you are struggling in a relationship with your spouse or other family member, make a list of all of their good qualities. Keep adding to that list.

That principle applies to our circumstances. Make a list of all of the good in your life, include parts that we take for granted - clothes, food, warm home, job - and the blessings of a relationship with the Lord.

Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith.   Hebrews 12:-2