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Now for the Happy New Year

December 31, 2018

I hope you’ve had a Merry Christmas, and now for the Happy New Year. New Years are resets, turning the page. That was the year that was, it’s over - let it go. This is much easier said than done. But there is power in starting fresh with a new perspective and a new beginning.

Here’s a post I read on FaceBook. Consider it carefully and prayerfully.

"I’m walking into 2019 with a clear heart and mind. If you owe me, don’t worry about it – you’re welcome. If you’ve wronged me, it’s all good – lesson learned. If you’re angry with me, you won – I’ve let it go. If we aren’t speaking – it’s cool – I wish you well. If I’ve wronged you, I apologize – it wasn’t intentional. I’m grateful for every experience that I received. Life is too short for pent up anger, holding of grudges and all the extra stress or pain that comes with holding on to what is holding me back and you back. Remember, forgiving someone is for you, not the other person. Don’t block your blessing. Make 2019 a year of 'positivity and possibility' by forgiveness and getting things right where you can."

You might be thinking, “Who is this person? Who could do all this stuff? This isn’t real. People don’t do this.” Believe it or not, there are people who have done one, two or even all the New Year’s proposals presented. You don’t find this very often. It’s upside down. It’s counter-cultural. It’s the high road. It’s the opposite of getting even. It’s opposite of playing the victim. It’s mercy triumphing over judgment. It’s ‘The Beatitudes’ in the Bible expressed by a real person in what has happened in their life with others.

What the writer has declared is best for the other party and for him/herself. It frees the victim and the perpetrator from hurts, entanglements, and disappointments of the past and unleashes them and us to a future bigger, better, and greater.

Sometimes God will put a Goliath in your life, for you to discover, uncover, and recover the David within you. What I see here is the David within this person. A mistake that makes you humble is better than an achievement that makes you arrogant.

Think of what Jesus outrageously proclaims in the Beatitudes in Matthew, Chapter Five in the Scriptures.

“Here’s another old saying that deserves a second look: ‘Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.’ Is that going to get us anywhere? Here’s what I propose: ‘Don’t hit back at all.’ If someone strikes you, stand there and take it. If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, gift wrap your best coat and make a present of it. And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.

You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves.

This is what God does. He gives His best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the naughty or nice. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.

What I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.”

How can you have a better New Year, this year? The answer might be right in the ‘crazy’ person’s proclamation. Pick a sentence in the proclamation you know you should do and do it. You will need to tap into God’s power to do this. That will turn your ‘should’ into a ‘can.’ Set yourself free from who you are upset with or what you are upset with. Go up and go on. Build a bridge and get over it.

And now...for the Happy New Year!

Ed Delph   December 31, 2018 

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Ed Delph is a leader in church-community connections.
Visit Ed Delph's website at www.nationstrategy.com