It's that time of year again, right before New Year's Eve. Typically this is a time when we look back, take stock of our activities, and consider changes we want to make in the upcoming year. For too many of us, it is a time of frustration and/or regret as we realize actions we cannot undo and resolutions we were unable to keep.
We need to decide what to do with this information. Do we “refresh” or “delete” it? Anyone who has a computer is familiar with these commands. The refresh command reloads the contents of a window or a webpage with the most current data. For example, if you're on a forum and someone posts a comment, that comment will be displayed when you refresh the page.
The delete command essentially does the opposite. You use “delete” when you want to remove, cancel, erase or obliterate data. Typically you are prompted, “Do you want to delete?” Because once you hit the delete button a second time the data is gone for good.
Refresh and delete are simple operations when it comes to our computers, but can be quite complicated when we are dealing with our own memories and self-image. Too often we “refresh” when we should “delete,” and “delete” when it would be more helpful to “refresh.” Let me explain.
All of us do things we regret and wish we could change. Even though that is not possible, some of us nurse and rehearse our failures and disappointments constantly reliving the pain and humiliation. “Refreshing” our self-image this way only makes it more difficult for us to believe in a positive future and go on with hope. We need to “delete,” to be set free from our regrets and given a fresh start.
In contrast, we can also minimize our achievements, especially if we did not accomplish everything we wanted to. We downplay the positive because we are too haunted by the negative, and we “delete” when we should “refresh.” We need to treat ourselves with kindness and respect even when we are not perfect. Sometimes we ignore information in our failures that could be very instructive to our future. This is another instance where “refresh” would be more helpful than “delete.”
The problem for us is that it is often difficult to determine whether “delete” or “refresh” would be more helpful. And even when we know which one is needed, we may be unable to execute the internal command. For example, no matter how hard we try, we keep beating ourself up for our mistakes.
We need wisdom and power greater than our own to assist us. We need what only the love of Father God can give us. He has the biggest “delete” button of all time. When we come to Him, repent of our wrongdoing and receive His forgiveness, He removes all our failures from us completely, as far as the east is from the west (Psalms 103:12). But this is just the beginning. He doesn't just give us a fresh start; He completely obliterates our past and makes us a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
He also gives us His Holy Spirit, who refreshes us by revealing the truth of who we were created to be, and the future that Father God has for us (John 16:13).
Make this the year you stop trying to figure it out for yourself. Put Father God in charge of your “delete” and “refresh” commands and let Him transform your life!
Come join us this Sunday at 9:00 AM, 11:00 AM, or 2:00 PM. We will have a special guest speaker, Jerame Nelson who has a prophetic word for us about the new year, 2014.