If you’ve ever been to the gym at the new year (or even on a Monday), you’ll notice it’s a bit more crowded than usual. Whatever cookies one indulged in—or 5:00 a.m. exercise classes were missed—they are long forgotten. It’s a new day, and everyone has a bolstered sense of motivation and purpose.
Psychologists have coined a term for this and other similar “get ’er done” moments of inspiration. They call it the “fresh-start effect.” It’s the notation that we all have a way of making progress toward our goals during transitional time periods, like from an old year to a new one. Even simply returning to a task after taking time off from it can give us renewed energy to do what we couldn’t seem to muster the strength to do before.
From the creation of the world to the final promises of a new heaven and earth, the Bible is full of stories of—and encouragement to observe—new beginnings. Jeremiah wrote about the Lord’s mercies being new each morning (Lam. 3:22-23). Paul instructs us to forget what lies behind and to reach forward to what lies ahead (Phil. 3:13). And Jesus Himself often said things like, “I don’t condemn you for your past. Go and sin no more” (paraphrased, John 8:11).
God is constantly providing opportunities for us to have a clean slate, the ultimate fresh start being when He sent His Son to die on the cross to give us the gift of a new spiritual life. It was a do-over of epic proportions. And when we accept His salvation, He makes us into new creations. “The old things [pass] away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
But the fresh start doesn’t end there. As new creations, we can begin each day by dying to our past selves and embracing the present opportunity to live in Christ (Rom. 12:1-2). At any moment, we can renew our minds by remembering what Christ has done for us and given to us. We can be freed from the burdens of yesterday and embrace the newness of life God gives us.
Do you need a fresh start with God? Let today be a new day of reconciliation with your heavenly Father. Ask Him for forgiveness and thank Him for the gift of new life. Start reading His Word again. Resolve to follow His will for your life. Today is a new day. And through Christ, you can do it!
Reignite your spiritual walk with a copy of “Cross and Crown: Scripture and Pastoral Reflections on Easter.”