Last week I got my hair cut for the first time in months. I feel like a new woman! Speaking of hair, I changed my "no-poo" routine on y'all. I started getting some dandruff, yuck! My scalp was getting too dry, I think due to the baking soda. So I'm trying "CO" (conditioner only) washing. There are a lot more healthy shampoos and conditioners coming out now ... I was able to find this conditioner for less than $5. And I'll admit, I missed the "parfum" ingredients. There's something about sweet smelling hair when you've gone to the trouble to wash it!
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature ...
If you are anything like me, sometimes hearing that God wants to make you a new creature is offensive. The gospel is offensive to our self-centered and glory seeking hearts. Perhaps especially in America where we celebrate independence and applaud boot-strap strength.
But oh, little caterpillar crawling on your belly. Mushy body that may even resemble bird poop. You were meant to float on rainbow shimmering wings and sip nectar from fragrant petal-cups.
My daughters are evidence of my own little miss independence. There is nothing wrong with "Shelby do it self!" But we must realize we are limited. We all to varying degrees come to a point where we can't. I can't get out of bed. I can't stop reaching for the pills/bottle/needles. I can't stop taking risks. I can't stop looking for approval. And the common denominator of our human can't is that we can't save ourselves. We need God. Some of us run up against things in life that show us that earlier than others. Call us weak ... but our weakness is where God's strength comes bursting through the smoke and dust like a searchlight and miracles happen and the impossible is done without our help. If you are reading this Jesus died to rescue you before you were even born.
So back to this offensive business about your creature being broken. The most beautiful illustration, while somewhat cliché, is the butterfly. Imagine a conversation with that caterpillar. I've got a jillion legs; and haven't you seen me eat? In a few weeks I can eat 27,000 times my body weight and increase my mass by 1000 times! I'm a machine!
|An older photo from Nicaragua in 2011|
|Even a black and white butterfly is a thing of beauty|
In the past I would scream at God ... YOU made me this way, now let me be. How dare you create me then ask me to change. I thought I could accept salvation and then go about my own way. "I'd just keep breaking my new creature anyways" I thought. I'll just stay like this and save the trouble. I don't want to be like "those people."
I thought He was asking me to become an ant ... a mindless minion with no individuality. Misconception! So far from the truth ... another of the enemy's ugly lies. In fact the Bible even talks about how the body (the church) is made of different parts who work together and need one another. I don't ha e to be like someone else in the church's and you certainly don't have to be like me. The only one we are asked to mirror is Christ.
This doesn't mean I'm liscensed to sin. It means I'm freed from sin. I'm freed from comparing myself to others. And worrying about others comparing me to themselves.
Being a new creature is about your heart and soul, the undercurrent of everything you are. Everything doesn't suddenly become Pollyanna prim. If you can rock without sinning, let the echo of "Hey Stoopid" be the voice God uses to stop you in your tracks.
Changing to a new persona isn't what shows how Christ changes us ... it's the miraculous redemption of our personalities ... the cleansing of light ... the shimmer of joy ... the unexplainable outpouring of love that makes the world stop and say "Something is different, and it isn't your hair ..."
To God be the glory for making the old new!