Why do we desire fresh starts and growth? The Bible shows us that we were created with a desire to learn and grow. In Genesis, God says to Adam and Eve, “be fruitful and multiply.” Jesus models learning from a young age as we see him listening and asking questions of the teachers in the temple (Luke 2:46). In asking us to become disciples, (the Greek word for disciple used in the Bible means learner), He is asking us to learn from Him, with Him and for Him. Jesus gives us the ultimate opportunity for a fresh start when we dedicate our lives to Him, and that desire for rebirth continues to pulse through us.

These are all good things, but sometimes we can feel overwhelmed from the pressures of society and from ourselves. How do we navigate the desire to grow, the setbacks we face, and resting in the truth of who we are in Jesus?

Why is Growth Important to Us?

It’s important to take a second to reflect on our view of new beginnings and our mindset behind setting intentions. Do we get excited or do we feel discouraged? Why?

Knowing our finite nature reminds us that we are created to need rest, depend on God, rely on community, and feel nourished. So when we are setting intentions, let's be reminded of why those goals are important to us.

  • Maybe we want to create routines and rhythms because we know that we need intentional rest and structure to care for our well-being.

  • Maybe we want to be more intentional with building community because we realize the need for God-centered community.

  • Maybe we want to be more organized with our studies/work because we are called to do everything for the glory of God.

  • Maybe we want to be more mindful of the food we put in our bodies and prioritize exercise because we want to take care of the body God has given us.

Facing Setbacks

I think there are some setbacks we can face in the midst of creating intentional habits, setting goals and making progress toward them. and growing.

  • Comparison - Let’s stop comparing ourselves to others, and instead, celebrate what God is doing in their lives. Then, let’s sit with Jesus and ask what He is calling us to uniquely do.

  • All-or-nothing mentality - You can start setting goals today. It’s not “too late.” Creating small, simple goals can help us work toward the big ones.

  • Fear - Sometimes we are afraid to be bold and courageous. While this is valid, what would it look like to trust God and pursue the things He is calling us to? Let’s remember His promises and that our identity is in Him alone.

His Mercies are New Every Morning

Goals, intentions and growth are good things, and God created us to do those things! But don’t forget that your identity is in Jesus and that God’s promises will never change. His mercies are new EVERY morning. We are made new because of the cross. The grace we have received because of the mercy of God could never be earned by our own doing!

He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow and will never leave us. Let’s celebrate that truth.