As I sit here in the last days of 2023, I like to take a few minutes to look back over the year. Actually, I don’t love it, but I find myself doing it anyway. What I really want to do is look forward to how I’m going to make the next year better, but as I start to do that, I find myself realizing that all the “new” things I hope for next year have their root in the disappointments of the year rounding up. Yuck. It’s full of failure, sin, and shame! I feel like the list of things I want to get better at and the sins I want victory over is longer than the success list!
Each year as Christmas ends and I really start thinking about it all, my mind travels back to a New Year’s from years ago when it happened to be on a Sunday. Our pastor preached a sermon that touched my heart! Instead of talking about setting goals for the new year, he focused on letting go of the old one—saying good-bye to all the mess-ups and sins we still carry around even after repenting from them.
He reminded us that when we ask God for forgiveness, those sins get nailed to the cross. Not only doesn’t carrying them into the new year make sense, we aren’t supposed to do it! All the guilt and shame that I tend to carry around without realizing it need to be put off.
It was a simple but powerful reminder to start fresh and not drag the old stuff along. That sermon inspired a painting that I’ve remade many of the years since. Here is this year’s for you to download if you would like! I hope it is a blessed reminder to your heart as it is to mine!
Download your freebie! (personal license only please!)
Won’t you please pin and share the graphic so others can be encouraged too!