Today is boxing day, historically the day when gift giving happens. Today is also the day when some people sort through the presents they received for Christmas… and set some aside to re-gift later, (right or wrong it doesn’t matter). In effect what they do is keep what fits their lives and needs… and dispose of the rest.
This concept is not unlike the thinking behind Rom 12:2; “be transformed by the renewing of your minds”, it’s all about getting rid of some thought processes that no longer fit. However, unlike re-gifting, renewing the mind is not so straight forward…. ‘what do we keep, what do we get rid of’.
The concept of renewing our minds is closely connected to Paul’s statement in Gal 4:19 “…until Christ is formed in you”. A renewed mind is one that has been reconstructed to work like the mind of Christ ~ Christ’s mind formed in me. Wouldn’t it be amazing to have a mind that responded to everything in the same way Christ’s mind did !!
The interesting thing I have noticed as I have conversed with people lately, is that instead of renewing their mind such that they are formed “into the image of Christ”, what actually seems to happen is that they “form Christ into the image of themselves”. What I mean by that is that some people attempt to “re-form Christ to fit into their mind”, instead of the other way around ~ in effect they make up their own faith. The process of renewing the mind is not about keeping what fits my life and needs, and disposing of the rest (like re-gifting), rather it is a complete renovation of our thinking ~ it is stripping out everything, and in its place installing one thing ~ the revelation of Christ and Him crucified.
It may seem like a big risk to start from scratch in 2013, to go back to the beginning and construct our knowledge of Christ all over again (its hard to imagine our faith without some of the ‘not negotiables’ we have had on board for so long)… but unless we do that at some point, we are likely to build our faith on a foundation other than Christ. Over our years in the Christian culture many of us have unconsciously formed Christ into our image… or perhaps some other image that we have picked up along the way.
Fortunately; each new year presents new opportunities ~ dare we resolve in 2013 to; “let Christ be formed in me” in a way that has never happened up until now ~ dare we choose to believe that God is all He says He is, dare we take him at His word and spend the whole year learning to be confident that the blood of Christ really has changed everything.
~ what if we chose to believe that “Christ formed in me” is about more than improved behaviour and good works…. it can actually be about the very substance of the cross becoming the daily source of our existence.
No wonder Jesus told the disciples to be courageous…