I took one of my kids out for coffee this week. Of course he got a yummy fattening drink that will not fatten him and I sipped a solemn decaf with Stevia. We sat outside and hung onto our steaming cardboard cups.
It was one of those conversations that kept accidentally bouncing back and applying to me. I hate when that happens. The question was which parts of our personalities should we accept and which parts should we try to change–an interesting topic for both of us.
We all kind of know who we are and get comfy-cozy in our me-ness. Some of us love being around crowds of people. Others prefer small groups. Some like a lot of solitude. Some of us are discerning, some talkative, some sensitive, and it is important to accept who God made us to be. Unless we use that as an excuse to not obey him.
Does being a natural storyteller excuse you from drawing out others? Does being an introvert allow you to leave large groups without greeting or encouraging people? Does being a “realist” keep you from joy? Does being an optimist keep you from compassion?
In 2 Corinthians 5:17 we’re told “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
God makes us a new creation when he saves us then continues to conform us into his image, making us “new” each day. Does anything in the “me I’ve become comfortable with all these years” need to be made new? It’s certainly easier to hold onto the old. “Things aren’t going too badly,” we assure ourselves. But are we stopping short of all that God has for us?
My coffee companion was impressively open to change. Having had an extra generation to get used to myself makes me feel a bit more spiritually brittle, but God’s promises don’t just apply to flexible, youthful Christians. They apply to us all. In Christ, we are new creations. God is committed to the project of making us new. Let’s be willing to play our part in the project.