We spoke last time about those in Scripture who have commanded their souls, their eyes, their lips, for the sake of the Lord their God. These are “the mighty ones” in the earth, and we want to be numbered among them.
If we hadn’t realized it before, Jesus tells us that, as willing as the Spirit is, the flesh is weak. It’s nice that He let us know that He knows that! Even so, there are a few phrases that have no coinage in heaven, for instance, “I’m only human!” and “nobody’s perfect!” Believers in the Lord are commanded to “Be perfect, as My Father in heaven is perfect,” and to stop acting like “mere men.”
You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? (1 Corinthians 3:3, NIV)
Here in Cor Unum Abbey, we are endeavoring to wrap our heads, or at least our faith, around the fact that we don’t get a pass for being imperfect, weak, human beings. If our Lord tells us to put on the new man, and He does, we can do it. It is a change of habit much more extraordinary than when the new postulant takes off her worldly clothes for the last time.
If only we could take off our bad habits for good, shuck them like corn silk and be done with them. No, our sin nature is so corrupt that even such a glorious exchange would be dangerous for us, for then we could boast and gloat and become very prideful in our sinlessness. That doesn’t work at all!
We are back to trudging, one foot in front of the other. Learning to speak gracious words, and sometimes because of the unkind things we’ve said only recently. We are becoming kind and gentle in heart, because we are willing to crucify our angry self-righteousness on a daily basis. We help one another to be careful of the things we allow, the “everybody does it” deceptions and the misconceptions that tell us we will explode into insignificance and psychosis if we don’t express ourselves freely.
The good news is that change will take place, righteousness will become our adorning, and power and might will be the strength of our new wardrobe. This is a real change of habit, and we can have it in dungarees or racing tights or BDU’s (Battle Dress Uniforms,) if we won’t give up.
More coming up on the habit of change!
Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Army
SFC Dan Dennison, SPC Ronald Jones and MAJ Steve Thrasher line up to show the U.S. Army’s new Army Combat Uniform, the outgoing Desert Camouflage Uniform and the uniform worn by U.S. Army soldiers in World War II. The U.S. Army soldiers in the photograph were working in displays at the Public Service Recognition Week event on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Photo credit: Eric Cramer May 4, 2005