I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26
The idea of new is amazing. As a society we get excited for the new iPhone or Samsung device. We use new as a marketing tool and companies everywhere are committing to the idea of new. We get new products and technology every year because they are so good at selling us “new”. Every season gets a new style of clothes. Every computer, phone, tablet, gets an upgraded device branded as new every year. There are even conventions for all the newness to be dropped.
We never think about the old products because we’re too busy focused on the new. We upgrade and replace our things because new is cool. New is awesome. New is better.
However, we only have that mindset when it comes to products. We might ignore the old products, even if they are still in great condition and can do all the things the new ones can, they are discarded like they never existed. We grab onto the new product and the old is gone. We do this with things. We hold people to a different standard. There is no such thing as new with people. There is no change. There are some people that can hold grudges for something that happened to them in high school. They’ve forgotten most of everything else about high school but this grudge is still holding a torch, living in their mind as if it just happened. We leave no room for improvement and growth with people. Our one perception, situation, incident with them will be what defines them for eternity.
Imagine if God saw us the way we hold people to their past mistakes. He knows about our mistakes. He has walked through us in our mistakes. He forgives us though. Once we ask for forgiveness, the mistake is gone, as if it it never happened. (Hebrews 10:17). He chooses to not remember the mistakes we have made and instead allows us to be new. We are made new.
Are you the same person you were in high school? I’m not. There are parts of me that are still the same. I’m loud, obnoxious and I’ll talk your ear off. On the other hand, I’m not as sarcastic. I’m not as mean as I used to be. I don’t look to tear people down or put myself above people. I don’t look for attention from boys. I am definitely a better student now than I was in high school. A lot of factors went into who I was in high school. My home life, situations, the people I surrounded myself with, all of these things; the good and bad, made me who I was. Since high school, I’ve lost friends and gained new ones. I’ve gained family, I’ve made colossal mistakes that I’ve had to climb myself out of. If someone I only knew in high school were to talk to one of my friends today, I bet they would describe completely different people, who have a few things in common.
When you step into a relationship with Jesus, things start to change. You start to see the world through God’s eyes. I know I’ve changed, I’m still changing and growing. It’s part of the transformation Romans talks about. However, this transformation that is talked about in Romans, is the transformation God promised in Ezekiel. Transformation isn’t a new testament concept, it’s an old testament promise.
Write it Out:
- Think about yourself in high school and yourself today. List ways the you in high school would be described and list the ways you today would be described.
- What is different?
- How else have you grown/changed? Sometimes our growth isn’t evident in characteristics, sometimes, it is in how we think.