May 12, 2018
Colossians 3:9-10… Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge, after the image of its creator.
Paul says this rather matter-of-factly. It is not that way for me. I am continually trying to put off my old self. I would like to say that it happened and is behind me but that would not be honest. However, it is delightful to see something, that was a bother, disppear. And there is great joy in thinking in a way that I am wanting to move into. The new self that I desire is after the image of its creator. God is doing that part. I let go of what I want to put off, and God changes me into who I am becoming. I read an old sermon yesterday, and read a good point about letting go of the old self. If we don’t put off the old self, we just add the new to the old and we don’t end up transformed; we end up with our old problems glossed over by some new habits. That is not my desired life.
And, it is a variation of a bigger problem. That bigger problem is that people try to add Jesus to their already busy lives. That is a culturally acceptable “Christian experience.” It is sad that culture defines Christianity. And that is another of my pet peeves. Christianity is supposed to define culture but, in an effort to be relevant, churches have let culture define Christianity. That is unbiblical and ungodly. As an example, culture tells us that no one should go hungry; therefore, the church should be actively involved in feeding people. I agree that the church should be feeding the hungry but it is because God told us to… not because society tells us to. With society as our boss, we are subject to the whims of society. We are being transformed by the Spirit of God, not by the self-identified needs of society. God is our real boss.
Our new self is being renewed in knowledge…whatever that means. “Being renewed” tells us that the process is ongoing; it is not once and done. I easily identify with the ongoing process idea. All the changes that I want to see in me are forthcoming, as long as I stay the course. Now, can I just be patient with the timing of God’s work in others? I am learning to be patient with me… I must learn to be patient with others. Transformation is from God… not from us.