Have you ever thought about why Christmas Trees are a big part of our Christmas traditions? We buy them, decorate them, put presents under them, gather around them, and sing carols about them. The origins of the Christmas tree goes back to the early 700’s in Germany where it was called a Christ tree. On the day before Christmas, people would put on plays about Adam and Eve. They would hang apples on the Christ tree to represent the forbidden fruit from the Garden of Eden. One reason the main colors of Christmas are green and red is that the red is the color of the apple and the tree is green, representing new life in the middle of the cold, deadness of winter.

Maybe you feel like your life is cold and lifeless. The evergreen tree is a reminder that it may be winter, but spring is coming. There’s hope for the new life that God wants to bring to you.

For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
Isaiah 43:19

How to Get a Fresh Start for Christmas

  • Refuse to hold on to the past.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Ephesians 4:31

We need to get rid of all the garbage that has built up in our lives or else our lives will start to stink. That includes all types of evil behavior. In another word, get rid of the sin in your life. Sin is the thing that separates us from God and it is a serious problem. So serious, in fact, that’s it is why Jesus came to Earth to give His life on the cross. That’s the way that all of your sin can be dealt with. But, once it’s paid for, you can leave it in the past.

  • Use what you have to show God’s love.

Instead, be kind to each other, Ephesians 4:32a

Instead of trying to get back at the people who have hurt you, choose to be kind to them. Whenever you have a choice between being kind or anything else, always choose to be kind.

[bctt tweet=”Small acts of kindness done with great love can change the world.” username=”colephillips”]

  • Choose to forgive.

Forgiving those who have hurt you may be one of the hardest things you ever have to do.

…forgiving one another, Ephesians 4:32b

We have to give large doses of forgiveness when we’ve been hurt.

None of us are perfect. But understand that this means we’ve got to receive each other and not run away from each other when we’ve been hurt and not reject each other. When you choose to hold on to unforgiveness, you think you’re hurting someone else, but you are really hurting yourself. If you want a fresh start, it starts by forgiving them and moving forward.

  • Lose your guilt and shame.

Why should I forgive?

…just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32c

I need to forgive because I have been forgiven. Jesus has already forgiven me much more than I will ever have to forgive anyone else. As a follower of Jesus, I have been forgiven for everything I have ever done.

Forgiven people forgive people.

And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. Matthew 1:21

He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that, having died to sins, we might live for righteousness; you have been healed by His wounds. 1 Peter 2:24 (HCSB) 

[bctt tweet=”The best Christmas gift of all wasn’t placed under a tree, but hung on a tree.” username=”colephillips”]

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17