Why today is better than New Year’s for starting fresh
It has been almost four months since January 1. Did you make any resolutions for the new year? Did you keep them?
Sometimes, it’s nice to have a fresh start. Maybe you’re not living as healthily as you know you should, or maybe you’d like to do a better job of spending daily time in prayer and in God’s Word. Having a specific day to start over can give you a great boost in the right direction, but what happens when that boost fails? What happens when April—or even February—rolls around and you haven’t changed your habits? It can be tempting to feel like a failure or just give up.
Don’t be discouraged! Every day offers a new chance to walk with God, and that doesn’t go away just because it’s May 4 and not January 1. When you fail at your goals or break your new habits, it’s not the end. You can start fresh today, tomorrow, and the day after that just as easily as you could a few months ago. Here are four reasons why:
God’s mercies are new every day
Lamentations 3:22–23—“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”
It’s never too late to start doing the right thing. Even if you failed yesterday, God still has mercy on you, and you have a chance in the new morning to get things off on the right foot. God doesn’t hate you for messing up, and He always stands ready to help you start a new day. You’ll never mess up so many times that you’ll be beyond forgiveness, and you’ll never see a day when God isn’t faithful and loving. Take this day for what it is.
God always makes a way out of temptation
1 Corinthians 10:13—“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
Have you been struggling with sin or bad habits? Even if you’ve been messing up right until this moment, you still have the ability to say “no” to sin and make a better choice now. We as humans regularly choose the wrong thing, yet God makes sure there’s always a way out of temptation. That means it is always possible to do the right thing. Even if you messed up on January 2, yesterday, and every day in between, the past doesn’t mean you’re automatically going to mess up today. Get back up and take God’s way out. It will always be there.
Tomorrow’s issues will worry about themselves
Matthew 6:34—“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
Jesus points out in Matthew 6 that worrying won’t add a single hour to your life. In the same way, worrying about how you’ll keep up a habit in the weeks and months to come won’t help you succeed. Don’t spread yourself too thin by trying to mentally or emotionally deal with the coming days and tasks all at once. Take one step at a time, using the strength God gives you today to reach for today’s goals. If you can live one day at a time, those days will eventually add up into weeks, months and years.
Walking with God today will grow the fruit of His Spirit in you
Galatians 5:16—“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” (ESV)
In the end, walking with God isn’t a one-time choice. It may be a resolution, but it’s one you have to choose to follow every day. When I was a child, I got the idea that the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22–23 was a list of things I had to get right to prove that I was walking with God. The opposite is true! Love, joy, peace, and other positive behaviors aren’t my fruit—they’re God’s fruit. Every day that I choose to walk with God is a day that His Spirit will be able to work in and through me. I don’t have to try to be perfect; I can instead focus on getting to know the One who is.
Start fresh today—and tomorrow
I’m definitely not a successful New Year’s resolution keeper. I’ve made the choice to get back on my feet more times than I can count, for I keep finding myself breaking my good habits a few days, weeks, or months later. I’ve found a pattern in my failures—every time that I start to feel confident in how well things are going, I forget to daily give things back over to God. Finally, I’m discovering that daily turning to God, even when it doesn’t feel like I need it, is what gets me through.
Have you resolved to be more loving, to pray more regularly, or to have more self-control? Don’t be discouraged when you can’t reach your goals on your own. Choose each day to quit trying and start being. Be someone who wakes up each morning and makes a new resolution to listen to God and walk with Him. You don’t need to wait for a new year to make a new start; every day is a fresh new day.
About the author
Elizabeth Buege graduated from the University of Northwestern—St. Paul with a B.A. in English Writing. She works as a freelance book editor, offering writing and editing tips alongside her services at www.elizabethbuege.com. She also teaches weekly writing classes as the secondary writing tutor for the ESCHEL homeschool co-op in Oakdale, MN.
When Elizabeth isn’t working, you can probably find her reading or writing for fun. She also loves gardening, cooking, exploring parks, and hanging out with big dogs and small children. She attends First Free in Maplewood and is thankful to have found such strong fellowship so close to home.