Wednesday, December 17, 2008

WEDNESDAY WEEKLY WORD...stretching the truth

With the New Year only days away, many of us are already thinking about our New Year's resolution. Each year, we start out just revved up to change something in our lives.

To give something up.

We resolve to lose weight or give up some bad habit, but usually before the end of January we have totally dismissed even trying to change. We have all the best intentions, but somehow we keep going back to being the same old person.

IS CHANGE REALLY POSSIBLE?
"Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil." - JEREMIAH (found in Jeremiah 13:23)

Some things, no matter how you paint it or cover it up - it still remains the same. Just like Jeremiah tells us: the Ethiopian cannot change his skin any more than a leopard can change its spots. But we, as Christians, have a choice to change. In fact the Bible tells us to be new people. That means to put away the old and become a new creature in Jesus Christ.

This change does not come from changing the outward appearance. Our skin and spots remain the same. What changes is on the inside. Accepting Jesus Christ changes our heart and when our heart is changed - our perspective, our goals and our mission will change also!

COLOSSIANS 3:8-11 "But now you must also put away all the following: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and filthy language from your mouth. (9) Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his practices (10) and have put on the new man, who is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of his Creator. (11) Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all in all."

Last week, in the YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I polled the readers the following question; "Which of the following lies do you find yourself telling most frequently?" The top 3 answers were:

1. 76% of those voting have lied and said, "Angry, I'm not angry!"
2. 17% voted and said they have lied and said, "Sure I like it. I'm just full." (probably during Thanksgiving!)
3. 1% of the readers said they have lied and said, "Of course I trust you."

This poll tells me that we, as Christians tend to embellish the truth at times.
If we were to submit a resume and apply for the position of "follower of Christ", what qualifications would be needed? What qualities do you have that would match the job desription? Would you stretch the truth alittle bit to make yourself look refined?
When applying for a job in the business world, many times we "embellish" the facts to make ourselves look better. We say we made more money than we really did. We say our duties were more than what they were. We imply our attendance and attitude were impeccable at all recent places of employment.

Stretching the truth on our "follower of Christ" application would not work...for the One to whom we are applying already knows us better than we know ourselves. Also, on our resume "job history" would not matter because Christ is not concerned with the old self as much as He is concerned with the new self.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if becoming a new self was like ordering a new car? With a new car you can stipulate the color, the engine size and what accessories you would like. With an order for a "new self", instead of ordering "cruise control" you could order "anger control". Instead of tinted or clear windows you could designate a clearer window to your soul, so people could truly see who you are.

Of course, things don't work this way in real life, but it could be helpful to have a shopping list of the things that you would like to see changed in your life. Paul shares with us and the Christians of Colossae important traits as we put on our "new self".

  • the control of our anger
  • honesty
  • openness to people of other races and cultures
CHANGE...IS IT POSSIBLE?

Yes, with the help of Christ. He has provided forgiveness for the old and laid the groundwork for the new.

Your application has been accepted.
(Signed with the blood of Jesus)
Proceed forward and receive your on-the-job training.
(The Holy Spirit will guide you)
Refer to your job manual at all times
(God's Word)

1 CORINTHIANS 5:17 " Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."

As I study the book of Colossians, Paul is teaching me that I can change the things that keep me from keeping my eye on the prize. If I have laid aside the old self, I must do some planning to keep the new self working in proper order.

If controlling your anger is one of those things on your shopping list ... may I recommend for you to keep a "anger diary" for a week. Write in it each day all of the things that made you angry for that day...why it made you angry, what you learned from your anger and how you dealt with the anger. Realizing what prompts you to anger will help you to initiate a plan of action to get control of your anger. This can also work for other areas such as dishonesty or discriminating against others.

Changing IS Possible!

PLEASE VOTE IN THIS WEEK'S POLL: "Where are you most likely to go when you are seeking a little peace in your life?" The poll is located on the sidebar of this blog. YOUR OPINION MATTERS!

3 comments:

Tiffany Stuart said...

Your blog looks very interesting. Thank you for commenting on my resolution post on Laced with Grace.

I hope to be back. Christmas is sure speeding up. I need to go shop a little.

Merry Christmas!

Debra said...

Laurie,

I am so glad with the Lord's help I am able to change so many things in my life.

Happy Wednesday to you!

Laurie Ann said...

Praise God that with His help change is possible when needed. Great post, Laurie!