There are often many revelations that come as we throw out the old and bring in the new. We often cleanse, purge, and release old stuff with the anticipation of brand new living! We live in such a future driven world that the new is in and the need to ignore the past is out. However, as believers sometimes the things we do stick with us. We carry such shame, guilt, and inexperience with us that it’s hard to make new choices because of an agonizing past. I’ve learned the power of forgiveness and applying grace in life. Not to just others but, to myself of course. You see, we’re trained and taught to apply forgiveness and grace to others, but seldom is it applied to ourselves.

This leaves us with what I call residue. The residue that sits in our lives carries over to the next story, plan, plot, etc. When this residue occurs monthly, maybe weekly, it isn’t noticed as much. Sometimes there’s so much happening that we can afford to ignore little nuisances convincing ourselves that we’ll deal later. It goes without correction. But, when residue goes into the new year – it sets the entire tone for the year. You see right now, you’re in expectation. You’re anticipating greatness as you should. However, without applying forgiveness and grace you’ll sink back into the usual routine and your year may be stunted as a result. When I speak on forgiveness and grace in life it’s directed towards more than the past. It’s really directed to your things like your thoughts, actions, and deeds. Often, these are the areas that we struggle in the most. The private struggles you have mentally produce the outward victory physically.

Your mindset is crucial and your understanding of your identity is how you’ll begin to not only love yourself, but forgive and begin applying grace. Grace helps us understand that life happens and although mistakes are inevitable you are not defined by your situation but of your choices. Grace doesn’t give us permission to mess up, it just allows us to admit it without shame. It’s crucial to forgive yourself for anything that may have gone against what you thought you may do or say. It’s wise to know that we always “think” we’ll react a certain way, but the outcome typically shifts once the situation arises. This is where forgiveness comes into play – you can’t change your past, but you can rewrite your future.

Remember, we’re all a work in progress. None of us are perfect and we all fall short of the glory. I believe people think making a mistake is tragic, but what’s harder is learning from it. Anyone can make a mistake, but growing from it takes a whole new level of growth. So as you move into 2018, apply grace to your life. Learn who you are and forgive yourself. Set the tone for the new year with the idea that mistakes will happen, but the learned lesson from it is so much better. Wishing you a great new year – may it be the best year yet!!