Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Mind Made New

I would like to be someone who doesn't worry.

After all, Matthew 6:25-27 tells us, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?"

I know that verse well. I know that being anxious will help me in no way, and actually will hurt me. Yet I do. I fret over things that I can do nothing about - things that are very valid things to be concerned about, but things that I cannot help. I even worry about things like food and clothing. Have I ever gone hungry? No. I have more than enough food. Have I ever truly needed clothes? No, those needs have always been provided for. I have no needs that God has not met, and yet I am still anxious.

I would like to be someone who acts selflessly.

I've heard Luke 6:29, which says, "To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either," many times. I know that I should be generous, not just in tithing, but in the day to day. I know that I should give because I honestly want to, and not out of obligation.

Yet I am still selfish and stingy. I hesitate on giving to others, of both time and money. Even when it comes to sharing my food (of which, again, I have more than enough) I'm hesitant. Because I am a selfish and broken person. I have, as I've heard it put, "soul sickness." We all do, guys. People did 2000 years ago, when Jesus walked the earth, and people did 2000 years before that, and 2000 years before that. If you think that you don't, then you might not know yourself as well as you think.

We need saving. I can't be the person I want to be on my own. I'm absolutely, completely hopeless. My heart, my messed up flesh heart, wants to seek the things of this world. On my own I would be greedy, gluttonous, bitter, cruel, vain, paranoid, and worse. The only way I have any hope of overcoming any of that is Jesus. He gave us a pathway out. He gave us hope to become more like him.

I am not perfect. I'm so insanely far from it. But because of what Jesus has done for me, and for you, I have hope to improve. I can become a better person. I have freedom from that "soul-sickness." It does not have to define me or entrap me. Instead, I can, as Paul puts it in Romans 12:2, "not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."

Jesus gives me hope. Day by day I can become more like the person I want to be, someone a lot more like Jesus and a lot less like the natural me. In Christ, I am made new. He has restored me to what I could never be on my own.

Hopeless? Not anymore, because it's no longer about me. It's about God. He is enough. He restores. He makes new. He gives life. He has taken the wreck of a person I would be without Him and given me a new life in Him.