What if you could take all your bad choices, negative experiences and the burdens you’ve carried for years as a result of other people’s bad choices, and—with this valuable insight about what not to do—start over again TODAY? Well . . . you can . . . and that’s good news!
When my children were growing up, they hated being judged by their pasts. They didn’t want their past behaviors to be the barometer I used to predict how they’d respond to similar circumstances in the present. The problem with their line of reasoning was that when I did give them opportunities to make better decisions, they behaved in the same unproductive manner with similarly bad choices.
One day my children and I were discussing this predicament when it dawned on me how to help them. My advice was short and sweet: If you don’t like being judged by your past, then create a new one. “But that will take too long!” they griped, shocked that I would even think that was a fair expectation.
See, my kids knew instinctively that they would need numerous new TODAYS (in consecutive order, of course) under their belts before I would be able to trust in their newly-created pasts. But I am, after all, only human, and I can’t see into people’s hearts like God can. God doesn’t need time to watch for outward signs so He can know for certain whether a person has had a heart change. He knows within the first nanosecond of a sincere turn to Him, even before words or behavior have time to reflect the inward change. But when a person makes that heart decision to trust God and turn (or turn back) to Him, change will come. It’s inevitable.
Back when I had that conversation with my children, I did not think of TODAY as God refers to it in Hebrews 4:7-11. If I had, I would have told them that even when they mess up, they can begin again with a brand new TODAY. And I know God takes His TODAYS very seriously because His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-24).
Each day we spend on earth is a new opportunity to turn from past mistakes and start afresh with God–a new TODAY, and the first day of a brand new past.