It’s a new year.
There’s something about a clean slate. Even if today is no different than any other day, it’s January 1st, so it’s designated as a new year. Just the thought gives us hope. Hope of change. Of better. Because we all have something we are eager to set behind us, eager to move away from and on toward.
This is the nature of love. It keeps no record of wrongs. It’s always eager to, FIRST to, put behind the past, move away from the wrong and pain, and toward a fresh start and new beginning. This is love. It’s as a new year, every time. A fresh start, over and over and over… seventy times seven.
But it’s hard. It’s also the greatest (faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love). To be able to ever extend a fresh start to others, to have a heart so generous, so full of grace and so devoid of its own rights…
This new year, I’m tempted to do as I’ve always done, focus on my wishes for change, my resolutions… and there’s a place for that—but suddenly I realize that I need to resolve to give a fresh start to others… to love. To give those who have hurt me (or who I think have hurt me) a clean slate, to wipe the record of wrongs clean, paid in full, because Jesus just came to wipe all our slates clean. It’s the hope of Christ: forgiveness, love, a clean slate—they are all connected and all part of the hope we celebrate both in Christmas and at New Year’s.
(And Christ has some pretty stern things to say about accepting forgiveness and then refusing it to others, lest we forget.)
So New Year’s resolution #1: Forgive. Let the hope of change and a fresh start and clean slate be for others as much as it is for me.