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My 16-year-old daughter, Mia, had just wrapped up her first semester of 11th grade. All the homework had been turned in and finals were completed. She looked at me on the drive home from school and said, “It feels so good to be done! Such a weight has lifted off my shoulders.”  

A day later as her final grades started trickling in, I looked at her and reminded her that she now had a clean slate. She had completed her fall semester of classes, and a new set of spring classes were starting from the beginning...brand new! There were no missed homework assignments and no bombed quizzes or tests. It was a new semester, full of possibility.  

I couldn’t help but think of the similarities between the changing of semesters and our walk with Christ. I immediately began to ponder the concept of a fresh start.  

God’s Word reminds us that we are born sinful. Sin is not a learned behavior. We don’t have to learn selfishness or greed or jealousy. It’s innate.  

Consider that sweet little girl of yours that holds a toy as you stroll through the department store. And consider that “not so sweet” look that transforms her face as you pry that toy out of her fingers to put it back on the shelf before heading to the checkout line. Or remember that Sunday morning you volunteered to work in the nursery. Remember the tears that fell when that little boy went over and ripped the sippy cup out of his playmates hand.  

Those are just a couple reminders that sin is present from birth in each one of us.  

But God… (How I love those two words!!)  

Ephesians 2:4-5 reminds us that, “But God is so rich in mercy, and He loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, He gave us life when He raised Christ from the dead.”  

Because of God‘s great mercy for us, at the very moment of our spiritual conversion, we have a clean slate.  

2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us that, in Christ, we are a new creation.  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here!”  

As believers, we know that becoming a son or a daughter of Jesus does not mean we will never sin again. But God paid for our sins. Not just in the past but also in the present and in the future.

We also have the gift of the Holy Spirit who is an amazing barometer of upright living within the believer. The Spirit convicts us of our sins. He guides us toward right living and gives us comfort and hope as we strive to live a life that’s pleasing to God.  

1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”  

So, take joy! Live as the daughter that you are!  

Don’t hold onto the sins of the past. Don’t walk in guilt or shame because our Savior has paid the price for you.

In Romans 8:1, Paul reminds us that, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”  

Live in Victory, dear sister. You are loved deeply, and your slate has been made clean. 

Sherry Libby

Sherry Libby is a wife and a stay-at-home mom of three. After years in the medical field, she now enjoys spending more time on the home front. She is involved in women’s ministries at her local church and she also teaches group fitness through a Christian ministry called Body & Soul Fitness.