desperate for the “good” ‘ol days
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come”
2 Corinthians 5:17
Spent some time really sinking into this, and what it looks like.
If I am a new creation (and, I am), why do I so often long for my old skin?
Why do I pursue the things of the world…
Media (and let me say here, not all television or media is BAD, but there is a lot out there that gets a laugh from us while mocking God…)
Self-Improvement (ha! as if I could do anything to improve myself without Jesus!)
Gossip (I know you ladies sometimes wish you could say whatever is on your mind, even if it’s not glorifying to God, or kind to others…)
Deep down, I want these things to be okay… and they’re not! The new has come, and yet my mind still desires to be enslaved to the old.
Why is freedom so uncomfortable?
As I thought about this, I remembered a tiny clip out of the movie The Shawshank Redemption. It’s been YEARS since I’ve seen that movie, but the scenes replayed themselves like it was yesterday. You know the one, when the old man who has been in prison his whole adult life is finally granted parole & a life “on the outside”. For all intents and purposes, he’s free. But, he’s not. He had grown so accustomed to life behind bars that he struggled with his freedom. He longed for the bars to be put back on his life… and ultimately he committed suicide to escape his freedom.
Dramatic. But spiritually, isn’t that what I do when I cling to my old self? I’m desperate to defend the rightful place of my worldly desires, blind to the fact that I’m defending them in sight of the Cross.
I’m holding up my musty, ancient, heavy chains, and letting Jesus know that while I may not be 100% okay with slavery to Truth, I’m okay with slavery to Self.
It’s a little crazy, isn’t it?
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened against a yoke of slavery.”
Galatians 5:1 (NIV)
So, why? Why do I persist in the comparison?
Maybe, maybe it’s because if I’m not moving closer to God, I’m moving away.
There’s no stagnation at the Cross; either I embrace it, or I’m repelled by it.
There’s no middle ground, but I want one. Deep down, I want a middle ground. I want to be able to enjoy the good ‘ol days (and the things that go with them) while also reaping the benefits of the Cross.
It’s not going to happen.
Either I’m all in, or I’m not. I can’t be a slave to Christ and a slave to myself.
“You can’t worship two gods at once. Loving one god, you’ll end up hating the other. Adoration of one feeds contempt for the other…”
Matthew 6:24 (The Message)
So… what to do? Paul warns the Corinthian Christians to “examine yourselves” (2 Cor. 13:1) to “see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves”. But if I’m doing that on my own, without the guidance of the Holy Spirit, I’ll just end up where I was before, justifying the wearing of my old chains.
I have to test myself and my thoughts & desires against the Word, and the Spirit will reveal what needs to go and what needs to stay in my life…
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — thin about such things.
Seems easy enough, doesn’t it? 🙂
What do you think?