Timanthes was an aspiring Greek artist in the Roman era. While studying under a well respected tutor, he was nearing completion of a major painting. Upon arriving in the morning, he found the canvas blotted out with paint. Enraged, he confronted his teacher who admitted destroying his work. He said, “You were spending so much time admiring what you had done that you were no longer improving. This was a great painting for some, but not for you. You can do much better.”
Timanthes went to work, energized with anger. But his mentor was right. The new and improved product became one of the best known works of antiquity, “Sacrifice of Iphigenia.” Thanks to a little known art teacher who insisted that his student start over.
This time of year, we think a lot about the past and the future. The networks carry programs reviewing highlights and low points of the previous year. People talk about resolutions and goals.
But for some, this could be an opportunity for a restart.
I’m not advocating quitting your job, marriage, or ditching your kids. But you can have a new marriage, new kids, new job, etc., by restarting yourself. Restart the kind of husband/wife you are, relearn your parenting, rebrand your reputation at work….
The best restarts involve taking fresh looks at ourselves and approaching our existing circumstances from a new perspective, renewed insight, reinvigorated energy, and most importantly, a readjusted attitude.
I’m not talking about turning over a new leaf. The bottom side of the leaf is no better than the top. I’m talking about approaching every aspect of your life from God’s perspective, doing things His way, looking for and listening to His counsel, and trusting Him enough to follow it, wherever that may take you. As Paul put it, “taking off the old and putting on the new” (Eph. 4:22-24).
See yourself in a different way. If you have put on Christ, you are no longer an addict, you are a child of God. You are no longer a nagging wife, you are a representative of Jesus to your family. You are no longer the negative critic at work, you are a servant of the Lord.
Maybe 2016 could be the year of change for you.
Is it time for a restart?
“Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24).