Sunday, December 5, 2010

Old or New

"there fore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come" -- 2 Corinthians 5:17

Old and New. Two opposites that seem to dictate the other. We find remakes of cars that are considered Old and Classic, that in fact are nothing like them and often either they are loved as much or hated so much more. For Instance the Classic GTO compared to the GTO that came out years ago, many would consider the new Model a fail, particularly because it had none of the classic car feel to it. However, we find the New Chargers are a model of car that has exploded onto the scene, and actually offers very little of that Classic feel. To some keeping that feel that look, that line of thinking is exactly what is necessary for the new Car to represent the old respectfully and fully.

So what of us? What of people?

We are new creations after we are redeemed, new people, with a new life, a renewed soul and spirit. Our hearts are changed, and our minds should be renewed. But sometimes. . . they're not.

Sometimes we hang on to the old, cling to it, we refer to ourselves as a new creation surely, yet we don't do much of anything that is new. When we think new, we instantly think better. If someone comes to you and says "Hey check out this new computer I got" and he brings out a home computer from the 80's, you are going to laugh. But if Steve Jobs comes out and says Look at this new Computer! You'd surely get excited for the new design, programs, processing, and all the new and better abilities of this new model compared to the old.

However, as people we often try to keep the old, and the new.

We want to be that new creation that Christ has allowed us to be, that the Spirit is enabling us to be, yet we hang on to things from our old creation that aren't a part of the new one. Sometimes it's friends, or habits, and others it's beliefs about ourselves. I have to say, that that last bit is the hardest thing I have had to deal with since fully surrendering myself to Christ. It's hard for me to admit it sometimes, but I rarely look at myself as the new creation that I am.

I see the screw up, the one who isn't good at much of anything, the one that gets forgotten, left behind, the one that can't keep up, and the one that continues to fail time and time again. I see the guy that people didn't wanna be around, the crude, crass, brutally honest guy that didn't care about how someone felt.

What I don't often see, is the caring, compassionate, passionate man that I've become. I rarely see the one that can succeed, the one that people rely on, and the one that loves to help people.

Why is that? Why do I only seem to remember the Bad??

Because it's something that I haven't been able to let go. Maybe for lack of understanding, but that inability to let go has done something over time that hasn't been well for me. It's made me repeat mistakes over and over again, it's caused me to falter, misstep, and fall time and time again.

When we refuse to let go of the Old parts of us, we can't fully grasp the new.

We are never going to be able to avoid falling in a hole, if we never take a different path.

We can't get past our past, if we still bring it with us in the form of friends.

That's hard.

That's uncomfortable. . .

Yet it's the truth. I speak from experience. I speak from Reason. It just makes sense.

I've battled myself for a long time on if I can keep part of my Old creation within me, within this new Creation that I've become. And I've come to realize that I can't.

Paul says it best I think:

" Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator." -- Colossians 3:5-10

And he does it again in Romans 8 when he says that we are to put to death the ways of old.

It sucks sometimes to do what we have to do to get better. When sick we don't reuse the same old toothbrush and expect to get better do we? We don't go outside when it's cold with very little warm clothes and assume that we're going to get over the sickness inside us? Nor do we assume that if we don't put suntan lotion on we won't burn more than we already have in the summer do we?

No. It's common sense. So then as much as it is difficult it is common sense. And it's hard! Incredibly hard to distance yourself from people you know you must distance yourself with. To put limitations on yourself based on the past and how it'll effect the future. But it's what's best.

Christ never said it was Easy, he Never said it wouldn't leave scars. But he did say that It's what is going to be best.

Hebrews says that God has done good with everything he's done to us.

That simple truth is the only thing that keeps me on the way to forgetting the way I thought about myself in my old creation, and keeps me focusing on myself in the New.

Try it. See what it does. See how you change. I promise it will be one of the best choices you make.

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