The Edifier

West Allen Church of Christ

The Edifier Index

A New Year, But the Same Old Me?


The old year is always replaced by a completely fresh new year; only the memory remains. But what about me? Alas, I am the same old me, except a little older. But that is a misleading thought. It sounds as if I would be a new man if I could, whereas the reality is that I can be a new man if I will.

Jesus spoke of it as being "born again," without which one cannot see or enter the kingdom of God (John 3:3-5). Paul spoke of it as "putting on the new man" (Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10). The required change is strong; the old man is to be put to death (Romans 6:3-4) which means, in simple terms, that old sins are repented of, repudiated, and abandoned (Colossians 3:5-9).

"A new man" -- this does not have to be just a dream or wishful thinking. I can be forgiven of all my sins. That gives me a new relationship. I can exchange all of my old and unworthy beliefs for new ones. That gives me a new outlook. I can reevaluate my priorities. That gives me a new attitude. I can break all my old, bad habits. That gives me a new life. If I make such an intellectual, emotional and volitional change, I shall have truly become a new man.

There is no excuse, and certainly no justification, in continuing on and on in the same old sins. It may not be easy to make the needed changes, for the old habits may be strong, but I can do it. After all, I made the old ones, beginning with a decision and a single act, and by a decision and a single act I can begin the breaking of the grip of the old. I can decide what kind of person I would like to be morally and spiritually, change my direction in life, fortify my will, and become that person.

The turning of the pages of the calendar does not mean very much, except that by the very fact of the passing of time we grow old. 1692 was a new year as opposed to 1691, but actually there is no difference other than the frame of reference. But a new man! That is a real difference! New ideals. New goals. New attitude. New hopes. If any man is "in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2 Cor 5:17).

The same old me on and on? Forbid it, Lord. And thus I pray:

"Give me a day, dear Lord,
  of beginning again,
Show me the way, dear Lord,
  I would be a new man,
Oh, bind me close to thee;
  Open my eyes to see;
Grant that I yet may be
  What you would make of me."