2 Corinthians 5:17
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
I wish the transformation process were as simple and clear-cut as the scripture above. You decide to give your life to Christ and now there is a light that dwells within you; your old life has gone! Boom, bang, bang!
Well, not really.
On day one, you probably still have most of the issues that you had before you gave your life back to God and you don’t really know what it means to walk with him. I believe unless we work hard (daily!) to move away from the old lives we used to lead, we will inevitably fall back into our old routines. Instead of a new book for our new lives, we will find ourselves rereading our old books, hoping that the words will suddenly change.
I think it is so easy to bring old habits into our new lives and I think this explains why we live in a world with insecure Christians, mean Christians, Christians with anger problems, Christians who look down on other people – the list goes on. I don’t believe some of these traits can co-exist with the Jesus that wants to dwell in our hearts. Please feel free to correct me, I’m no theologian, I’m just trying to go somewhere with this.
Example: you sing on Sunday morning about how much God loves you and you nod along as the Pastor tells the congregation that they are all fearfully and wonderfully made. That VERY evening, you look in the mirror and tell yourself how ugly you are. You tell yourself that you’ll never find anyone to love you and that you aren’t worth anything. I know many people who sing about God’s love for them in one moment but use the same mouth to speak hatefully about themselves in the next. They’re not alone; I’ve been there too and I literally have to work daily to make sure I don’t fall back into that old, vicious cycle.
Sidebar: I have this new rule: If I wouldn’t say it to another person, I cannot say it to myself. It’s easy to be mean to yourself. You do something wrong, you hit your head and say ‘YOU’RE SO DUMB’. What? Sorry? No. You’re not dumb. You are an intelligent individual who made small error. Be kinder to yourself!
Look at all the baggage you’re carrying. Certain habits can’t come on this walk, you know! You gotta drop the negativity out because it’s weighty and it will eventually overshadow the hope, love and compassion God has for you; you’ll simply stop believing all the good that he sees in you.
Have you ever seen ‘The Biggest Loser?’ The contestants are forced to do crazy exercise tasks and they’re struggling because of the weight they’ve acquired over time. That is exactly what you’re doing; you’re struggling, out of breath and overwhelmed by the task. You’ve got to get rid of the weight. I don’t mean a diet until next month with a few biscuits here and there; no, I’m talking for the rest of your life, no more carbs, (OBVIOUSLY THIS IS AN ANALOGY WE LOVE CARBS) and never returning to the things that made it difficult for you to run through life unafraid and unashamed. No, we leave those things behind and eventually we stop running and we start soaring.
Your new life has begun. You are different. You are new. You are no longer the person you were before you encountered Christ. You don’t have to keep reading the chapters of pain and brokenness, make a daily decision to leave those moments behind and drop the weight.