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Breaking the Cycle: Tips to Avoid Repetition in the New Year

As we step into a new season, there's a shared desire among us to leave behind the past year's struggles and challenges. Of course, we want to hurry up and forget the old things, but how do we begin to progress? Do we listen to the social media influencers, or do we just start by grasping for straws? If you were considering either of those options, I encourage you to be more strategic this year than that. Essentially, if you don't want a repeat year, then you must look to God's Word for timeless wisdom on moving forward and embracing a fresh start. 

Here are 6 Biblical ways to never again see those giants you faced in 2023. It's time to break the cycle of defeat for good.

  • Seek First the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33):

The Bible reminds us that everything else falls into place when we prioritize His kingdom, which is a law. Since the spiritual realm is orderly, you can count on this covenant each and every time. Of course, this doesn't mean that you won't see any struggles this year, but it does ensure that you will have everything you need added to you. Thankfully, the act of adding eliminates the toiling you're likely accustomed to. So before 2024 gets underway, and you get caught up in the worries of this world, purpose to fix your eyes on Him, seeking His righteousness and trusting that He will take care of our needs.

  • Let Go and Let God (Proverbs 3:5-6):

Trusting in our own understanding and logic can lead to stumbling blocks, stagnation, and destruction. When we hear God tell us to do something and refuse, we can always count on the disobedience coming back to terrorize us. While it might not be today or tomorrow, you will see the consequences of your actions because of the seedtime and harvesttime law. So this year, let's surrender control to God even when it's uncomfortable because obedience is always better than sacrifice. This year, we must get to a place where we not only acknowledge but trust His sovereignty, which means we can't lean on our own limited understanding because we don't always know what comes next. 

  • Renew Your Mind (Romans 12:2):

Transformation begins with the renewal of our minds. Many of us are coming out of 2023 disappointed, scarred, bruised, and just looking like everything we've been through. No shade. However, you must renew your mind to the truth to progress this year. What lies did you believe last year that stole your joy? Whose report did you believe? God's or your enemy's? You absolutely must immerse yourself in the Word, allowing it to shape your thoughts and perspectives. By aligning our thinking with God's truth, we can break free from the patterns of the past.

  • Forgive and Be Forgiven (Colossians 3:13):

Unforgiveness can chain us to the past, hindering our progress. We all know that we must forgive those who harmed us, but what if the person who needs the forgiveness is you? What if you haven't forgiven yourself for betraying you? What if you're still holding on to that time you lowered your standards? What if you're the reason you're stuck? While forgiving others is hard, it's even harder when you're the person who needs to be released from your own prison. This year, give yourself the gift of forgiveness. What if by extending grace to yourself, you learn how to extend grace to others? You have to forgive because when we do, we open the door to healing and a brighter future.

  • Commit to Change (Matthew 3:8):

Genuine repentance is more than just words; it involves a behavior change. Have you ever had someone tell you that they will stop doing something that you've communicated hurts, and they didn't? How did that make you feel? Hurt? Betrayed? Unimportant? Rejected? Now imagine how God feels when we promise to do something and don't keep our word? The Bible tells us that it's better to not make a vow and not fulfill it (Ecc 5:5), which translates to don't let your mouth write a check your butt can't cash. No, seriously, if you want your life to bear fruit, then you must have a transformed heart. As you purpose to walk in obedience more this year, let your life become a testimony to God's grace.

  • Build on the Rock (Matthew 7:24-25):

The storms of life are inevitable, and several are coming this year; therefore, it would be wise to build on a firm foundation. You can't afford to look at what everyone else is doing. You can't afford to measure yourself by their measuring stick. You must focus on what God told you to do because your ark won't look like theirs. What God tells you to do will ensure your success, but if you get sidetracked by their progress, you might stagnate. Unfortunately, your stagnation will impact you and delay everyone else in your lineage. So, let's ensure that our lives are built on the solid rock of Christ and His teachings because when the winds blow, and the rains fall, we can stand firm, unshaken by the challenges around us.

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