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Why you can’t really start over without Jesus

By: kate mardis

Have you ever been to a fast food restaurant in January? I have. For five years, I worked in the fast food industry and got to see the food scene in January first hand. 

While gyms and health clubs around the country experience a surge in attendance during the first month or two of the year, the fast food industry experiences the opposite effect. Sales plummet during the first few months only to then begin to rise starting around April. 

Even though the effect on fast food sales and gym attendance is different, the reasoning is similar. People stop eating out at the beginning of the year for two main reasons: 

  • They are trying to be more responsible with their finances.
  • They are trying to make healthier eating choices.

In other words, they are trying to start over and do better than last year. There is nothing wrong with wanting this year to be better and different than the last one. The problem is that you can’t keep doing the same thing you’ve always done and expect to get different results than you’ve always gotten. 

You can’t keep doing the same thing you’ve always done and expect to get different results than you’ve always gotten. 

Maybe you can relate. Maybe this year is the year you want to shed those pounds and build a healthier body, kick that addiction, get those finances in order, fix that relationship, or finally get that do-over on whatever “thing” you’ve been working on for years. The bad news is that if you don’t have Jesus, you’re going to rely purely on you and your strength to do that, and it probably isn’t going to work.  

Jesus Is the Difference Maker

When we ask Jesus into our lives, we become children of God — sons and daughters of the creator the universe, the Almighty. Romans 8 describes our adoption into God’s family: 

“So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, 'Abba, Father.' For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory” (Romans 8:15-17, NLT).

As God’s kids, we have access to God’s infinite grace and the power of His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives us the ability to be all of the things we aren’t naturally — loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled. 

When you start over without Jesus, you're destined to repeat all the same mistakes you made before. When we let the Spirit lead us, we experience life anew (Galatians 5).

Don't Wait to Start Over 

Jesus didn’t give his life so we could only have eternal life, He gave His life so that the life we live here on Earth could be abundant! He came so everything done in His name would be abundantly better. And He never said we had to wait until Jan. 1 of next year to get our do-over. 

In Lamentations 3:22-23, we learn that God’s mercies are new every single morning. Every day we wake up, we get a chance to start fresh. 

If you’re working on getting that health in check and you fell off the wagon at dinner last night, He gives us a chance to make healthier decisions today. If we blew the budget last month, with Jesus we can have the self-control to take back our financial peace this month. If we didn’t make that phone call yesterday to start rebuilding that relationship, today He gives us a chance to make it again. Whatever your thing is, with Jesus, every day can be your day to start over. 

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