Happy New Year! If you have been following this blog for a few years you know that this is my favorite time of year because of the opportunity of new beginnings. I am a big fan of new beginnings, second, third, or fortieth chances. But instead of writing about how you can set new goals in 2016, let go of things weighing you down from the past, or start brushing your teeth more, I wanted to share one simple thought.
What if you started this year with a right perception of God? What if you woke up each morning and walked through your day in whatever unique way you do with the correct filter of how God sees you in every circumstance… wouldn’t that be amazing?
Think about it. What happens between you and God when you mess up? Say, loose your temper…again? Or fall flat on your face with a struggle that you thought you had overcome? Or drive by the homeless person whose frosty breath makes you thankful for your warm car–yet you keep on driving? Or gossip or overindulge or judge or lie… just a little?
Shame. Guilt. Remorse. Defeat. Hopelessness.
And as a result you avoid facing your creator because of the label you have picked for Him in that circumstance:
Moody God, Judgmental God, Fickle God, Distant God, Prejudiced God, Unhappy God
Take a lot of those over the course of the year and you have turned your face away from God enough to give you whiplash.
But those are False Gods. Fake. Made up by messy human hearts. And the whole time the real, true God is patiently waiting for you to put down your label maker and turn toward him.
You have a God who loves and LIKES you. He is patient, kind, enduring, warm, close. He is infinitely forgiving and pursuing of you REGARDLESS of your actions, words and thoughts.
“I have come to call not the self-righteous, but sinners.” Matthew 9:13
My friend, we are all sinners. We are all called by God. Wooed by him, pursued.
“The men and women who are truly filled with the light are those who have gazed deeply into the darkness of their own imperfect selves.” Brennan Manning, The Furious Longing of God.
So back to 2016. Can you walk into this year setting aside your false prejudices against God and yourself? Can you be filled with the light because you realize the truth of your imperfections and still cling tightly to God’s mighty hand in your life?
Can you confess your sins to God and still look him in his loving eyes?
I think our year might just be amazing if we can figure this out.
To a new year and a real God,