Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Second Chances. And Third Ones.

"No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not yet achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead..." Phil 3:1 

"I'm not calling for a second chance. I'm screaming at the top of my voice: 'Give me reason, but don't give me choice. Because I'll just make the same mistake,'"
James Blunt, Same Mistake

For some of us, new beginnings are not as magical as they are others. We may hope that a new year, a new job, a new marriage or a new city will mean that life is somehow going to be different. We may dream that someone pressed a cosmic reset button, and all of the failures and disappointments in the past will dissolve making us brand-new and baby-fresh. But tomorrow comes, and I'm still me. I have the same memories, tendencies and weaknesses that I had before I "started again."

I want to blame Jesus for this, for talking about being "born again" with Nicodemus in John 3. I know blaming your savior for the manner of your salvation is a bit like looking a gift horse in the mouth, but there you are.

See, newborn babies don't have bad memories. They don't have past bitterness or disappointments that whisper lies. They don't have a mountain of failures grasping at their heels as they learn to walk. Unlike newborns, we must choose to be reborn. Not only that, we must choose to believe it every day.
"...consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus." Romans 6:11
Christ made you alive. He gave you a new heart and new mind, do you believe it?
"...let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think." Romans 12:2
God will continue to transform you each day. Do you believe Him?

Do you believe Him when you realize you made the same resolutions on January 1st 2012 that you did on January 1st 2011? Do you believe Him when you realize you're in the same place that you were last year? Do you believe him when you realize that you made all of the same mistakes...again?

Do you believe Him?

No, my dear brothers and sisters, I haven't achieved perfection yet, but I know perfection exists. I believe God's promises; I believe I am a new creation and God is renewing my mind. So I focus on this one thing only: God has made a call to me through Jesus. He says to me, "Be perfect. Be like Me." So, with all of my might, forgetting the past and looking toward the future, I strain toward that high and impossible prize.


  1. Getting past the mistakes is such a hard thing. I can't wait for the day when we are made perfect in Him.

    Thank you for this reminder today.

  2. Yes, it's probably one of the most difficult things I face. When it comes down to it, it's about letting go of my need to be perfect on my own and looking ahead to the perfection HE promises.