I love the title of this post about our mistakes – it is a quote from Anne of Green Gables, in case you didn’t recognize it. The hope of the New Year is that it is a fresh and clean slate before us. All of the mistakes from the past year: the failures, the procrastinating, the excuses, they don’t seem to follow us into the new year.
Can we really start fresh with no mistakes to hang over us?
Well, funnily enough, as a Christian, YES! Our whole entire life is one of letting go of the past and looking, in hope, to the future and the power of the finished work of Jesus in our lives! If that is our hope, why don’t we live this way? Why do we feel we need to wait until a New Year to start afresh?
Catch the foxes for us,
The little foxes that are ruining the vineyards,
While our vineyards are in blossom. Song of Sol 2:15
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying,
“Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come,
for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. Rev 12:10
Why? Because we have an enemy who is always accusing us, bringing up our faults and biting at our heels to try and destroy what God has created. And so often, we sit back in fear and guilt and allow him to do it!
But I make mistakes! How can I NOT see them every day, like a mark in a tally book?
The more I’ve walked with the Lord, the more confident I have become of this fact:
The power of the cross is greater than the strength of my sin and failure!
Did you catch that? When we hold on to (and allow the enemy to continue to shove them in our face) our mistakes, sins and failures, we are essentially saying to God, “Um, yes I know that Jesus, the Son of God – God incarnate – died on the cross to pay for my sins. But I just want you to know, God, that I’m thinking it wasn’t enough to TRULY obliterate my sin from my account. I still need to hold on to stuff and try in some puny pathetic way to make it right.”
When we are not able to walk in the full forgiveness of the cross and our salvation, we are slapping God in the face and saying Jesus wasn’t enough.
And what does God have to say about this??
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us. Ps 103:2
I love that He chose to use east and west directionality in this example. If He had said north and south – well, eventually if you are going north, you hit the north pole and then begin to go south. So north and south actually touch on the earth. There is a finite distance between them. But east and west don’t meet. EVER. If you go east, no matter how many times you circle the globe, you will continue to go east and never hit west.
So east and west are infinitely separated. He has removed our transgressions from us so far that we can never touch them again!
God’s grace is more than theological mumbo-jumbo.
I want you to realize that I am not just talking the theology of justification. I am talking the REALITY of our salvation! The every day functioning of our lives before the Living God. This spiritual truth is so deep, so powerful, so transforming that God wants to completely change who we think we are. And part of that means learning to let go of our past mistakes and receive His grace, forgiveness and freedom.
Learning to live every day with the knowledge that it is a new day with no mistakes in it ahead of me is really hard to do. But it is really simple to learn. Am I just contradicting myself to sound profound? Hardly! It is hard to do because it requires letting go of our control over our lives (like we have any anyway) and demands that we let Jesus take our load and give us His.
Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. Matt 11:28-30
Are the mistakes you are carrying from the old year making you weary in the new?
Jesus is asking you, beloved, to lay down all of your burdens of sin and shame and guilt and fear. Lay them at His feet. Let Him take them from you and refresh your spirit with joy and freedom and hope! Don’t wait for the New Year to learn to walk in the newness of life He promises us! Let it happen today – and every day! Let your joy be made full in the power of the cross. And let His transforming power make you whole.