The second chance is a better chance

Illustrated by Robert Labayen

Our lives change because of New Year’s Day.

It’s actually just another day. Just another year. But marking that day between two twelve- month periods makes a gigantic difference in our lives. We take advantage of the symbolism of New Year’s Day to give psychological energy to our decision to make things better.

Last week, we had this topic in our prayer group. Some members admitted they didn’t spend enough time having heart to heart talks with their children. Others were unable (again) to start their dream projects. Many confessed they neglected their weight control or their total health program.

Many people don’t do resolutions anymore after having reneged in previous years. They have lost faith in their own willpower and discipline. In the book 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do, clinical social worker and psychotherapist Amy Morin observed that giving up early or failure to get instant gratification is one of the main reasons why people don’t achieve their full potential.

The beginning of the year reminds me of how God gives a second chance to those who took a misstep in life. Peter felt defeated after having denied Jesus. But when the Lord rose from the dead and appeared to him, Jesus asked Peter to feed his sheep and to take care of the flock. Saul of Tarsus was a terrible persecutor of Christians before God halted him with blinding light on his way to Damascus. After his conversion, Paul the Apostle became the most prolific messenger of Jesus’ teachings.

The amazing thing that God does is that he initiates the reconciliation. Every time he healed the sick, he would heal them first before saying “Go and sin no more.“

Zaccheus was a sinful man. A dishonest tax collector. When Jesus came to their town, he climbed up a tree to get a better view of the Lord. It was Jesus who called him out. “Zaccheus,” Jesus said. “Come here. I will stay at your place tonight.” Before Zaccheus even asked for it, Jesus already forgave him and honored him in front of the people who didn’t even respect him. In response, Zaccheus said he will return the money he has stolen from the taxpayers.

God is a God of second chances. Such promise is clear in Lamentations 3:22-23: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

But there are some of us who can get stuck in a life that lacks joy when we can choose to make each day a brand new day.

Amy Morin, the author of the bestseller mentioned earlier, had a promising career as a psychotherapist when she got married. But within a few years, her young husband died of a heart attack. She became her most challenging patient. She remarried and was happy again. But within a few years, her new father-in-law, whom she loved, died of cancer. This time of her life compelled her to write the book that advises people to break away from the cycle of negativity and self-pity.

She noted in the book that many people allow their past to sabotage their present and their future. They dwell too much on their mistakes instead of having the courage to face change. They also give other people the power to make them feel bad, or inferior.

So, she counsels us to dispose of thoughts that do not contribute to our well-being. We must
make a list of our values and goals and to write our own definition of success. She said that after having made peace with our past, after processing the lessons we have learned, we can start living our lives in the present and we can proceed to a future that we desire.

Every new year can be our chance to become a better person with a life better suited to our own ideal of success and happiness.

( Amy Morin is considered to be a pioneer in the subject of mental strength. Her book has been read by over 50 million people. )

The second chance is a better chance The second chance is a better chance Reviewed by Robert Labayen on 3:28 PM Rating: 5


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