Intersection of Life and Faith

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I Am New

  • 2012 Jan 03

I love the cynical mind of Scott Adams expressed through his Dilbert cartoon strip. A recent New Year’s Eve panel expressed the skepticism that Dilbert had for attaching meaning to the annual calendar rollover.

“I don’t celebrate the magical thinking that says one random point in the space-time continuum is somehow special.” – Dilbert

We do place a remarkable emphasis on the New Year as a specific point in time where we can resolve to do something better or something less or something not at all. I have resolved over the years to work out more, read all the way through the Bible, lose weight, be more organized (HAH!) and assorted other failed bits.

But there is power in the hope of change and new beginnings. A song by Jason Gray reminded me of the power of starting anew. Jason is rapidly becoming one of my favorite writers/singers for Christian lyrics. The lyrics from “I Am New” blessed me on the morning walk and serve as a template for the New Year journey.

Too long have I lived in the shadow of shame
Believing that there was no way I could change
But the one who is making everything new
Doesn't see me the way that I do
He doesn't see me the way that I do

I haven’t just lived in the shadow of shame. I have wallowed deep in the pooled up shame of past failures, broken vows and failed efforts to be more worthy of love. Then Jason reminded me again that the work is done. I am changed. I just need to believe and live out of that truth.

I am not who I was
I'm being remade
I am new
I am chosen and holy and I'm dearly loved
I am new

I am new. I can trust and live out of that truth on New Year’s Day or January 5th or April 10th or any other day. The point is we are new creations in Christ. The verse is familiar. Trusting it is hard.

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. (2 Corinthians 5, NLT)

That is true every day of the year. Yet it can be so hard to believe and Satan makes it so hard to accept. The old tapes (digital recordings?) start playing whenever the old shame triggers are pulled.

“I am not enough.”
“I am a failure.”
“I don’t deserve His mercy.”

 Gray’s lyric addresses the truth of how God views me.

Now I won't deny
The worst you could say about me
But I'm not defined by mistakes that I've made
Because God says of me
I am not who I was
I'm being remade
I am new

Yep. All of the ugliness is true about me. I put all of my sin and shame on the table and Jesus gently says that is not who I am anymore. Is there any more freeing and joyful message to take into the New Year?

You may be correct Dilbert. Perhaps there is no special power in the random moment on the space-time continuum when the New Year begins. But there is amazing power in the redemptive work of Christ. I begin today, tomorrow and every day of 2012 with the knowledge that I am….

Forgiven, beloved
Hidden in Christ
Made in the image of the Giver of Life
Righteous and holy, reborn and remade
Accepted and worthy
This is (my) new name
This is who (I) am now...




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