A New Year {Encouragement for Young Men}

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9

2014. A brand new year. Among all the festivities of the past few weeks, I’m sure you took a few minutes to jot down a few New Year’s goals (don’t worry if you didn’t; I’m not judging). Perhaps you reviewed 2013 and all that happened. Or didn’t. Either way, what I’m about to say applies to all of us, goal makers and non-goal makers alike.

As I looked back over my 2013, one thing kept popping up in my face: All the times I failed (it’s not the happiest thought, I know). Failed to be on time, failed to keep my cool, failed to follow through on something, failed to focus on what I needed to be focusing on. Ouch. It hurt. I was feeling a little overwhelmed at trying to do better in 2014, and then I received an email from a friend.

Let me back up here. A few weeks before, someone had begun a “Bible verse email.” Basically this is where someone’s name goes on an email, it’s sent around to 20 people, and those 20 people send a Bible verse to the person named (also known as a “chain letter”). My name eventually ended up on the list and this person was sending me my verse. Except she sent the wrong verse. I did get the right text, but it had the wrong reference with it. She quoted it as coming from I John 1:9 when it was supposed to be referenced as Joshua 1:9. Being one of those people with an insatiable curiosity, I had to look up 1 John 1:9… And that’s where I felt as if I’d received a smack right in the face.

I had been so worried about wondering how not to fail in 2014, that I forgot about what Christ has done. He’s paid for our failures! And, like I John says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” It’s time to confess our failure, and to begin again. Learn from your failures of last year, then forget them. Live each day this year intentionally. Realize that choices have consequences, whether good or bad, and only you can choose whether to do the right thing or not. And most importantly, don’t view 2014 as a daunting year, but instead as a fresh start. Acknowledge what Christ has done, confess your failures, and look at 2014 as a clean slate, ready to be written on.

“The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes. Unless a particular man made New Year resolutions, he would make no resolutions. Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective.” – G. K. Chesterton

G.K. Chesterton’s quote is brilliant picture. What are some fresh ways we can approach 2014?

What are some things you’d like to change this year in your life?

What are some of your goals for this year?


Leave a Reply