2019 has passed and 2020 is now beginning! We sang “Old Aung Syne” a few hours back and said, ”Happy New Year” to family and friends around us. It’s a custom when years change.

But the Bible speaks of the old and the new in a much more dramatic way. “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.” Of course, Paul is writing to believers in Corinth to encourage them to grow in their new-found faith. No change is more important than the one he describes.

The question of growth is a little more complicated. Old things only pass away when we let go of them. Some of our “old” things aren’t really worth holding on to; yet we cling to them in fear of having nothing if they are taken away. Security is sometimes what we know, even if it is painful. We choose to hold on to it rather than risking what we do not know, even if it might be more rewarding.

Many examples come to mind. A woman stays married to an abusive man because he has convinced her no one else can love her. Only when she escapes the emotional trap can she be free to discover he lied.

A man may work for the same company for years without an appropriate raise because he’s getting by. He wonders if another job might be more fulfilling and more rewarding financially. He will never find out until he explores the other options.

A child may grow up convinced he is no good until he reaches out to a loving adult who treats him as a person of worth.

It occurs to me that the change Paul wrote about is also like that. I must be willing to admit that I have sinned — I’m carrying around the “old” burden before I can be forgiven and discover the new blessings that come.

If we stay in the “old” of 2019, there will not be much hope for change. If we let go of the old and reach for the new, amazing discoveries may follow.

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said: “Most men see things the way they are, and ask why? I see things the way they could be, and ask, why not?”

Are you willing to leave the old behind and accept the new?

When it comes to forgiveness, God can do that for you if you ask Him. You have some choices to make about other things in your life. I hope you’ll learn to ask, why not, in 2020! Happy New Year!

Dr. James E Kilgore retired as President of the International Family Foundation and lives in Canton. His most recent book, LIVING WITHOUT LIMITS, was published this month and is available at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

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