>> January 27, 2011
I like new things. Do you?
I recently got new tennis shoes and went through my closet and tossed several pair of old shoes. I'm reminded of a time when my kids were all in elementary school. We were pastors on an Indian Reservation on the Olympic Peninsula in the middle of the rain forest. We had very little money and worked hard to make everything last as long as possible.
When our sixth grade daughter had serious problems with ingrown toenails that needed minor surgery, we discovered it was because her shoes were too small and she was afraid to tell us because we had no money. My heart broke and so did my dad’s.
My dad was a preacher’s kid during the depression. He shared many stories of cutting the toes open of their shoes to make them last longer. They went barefoot all summer because they didn’t have shoes that fit by then and had to wait until the school year to justify the purchase. He gave me money and told me to buy my kids whatever shoes they needed and to never let them be “in need” of shoes again. He would be sure his grandkids had shoes on their feet that fit properly.
My youngest son was in Kindergarten when this happened. We realized his shoes were becoming terribly tight on him as well. The day after he got his shoes he was so excited. The recess teacher told me he came running to her to show them off and said, “I can run faster and jump higher because I have special new shoes.”
She thought he was just being a cute five-year-old but I understood that he really could run faster and jump higher in his new shoes because his feet were no longer bound tight in his old pair.
There are several phrases among Christians where we use the word NEW: New creation, new creature, new life, all things are new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.
When I was a rotten sinner at the age of nine I accepted Christ and became a new creation. It wasn’t a dramatic transformation, but I was aware of the change in me. When Les accepted Christ at sixteen, leaving the life of drugs and alcohol, his life really changed. He truly was a new creation. When people hear his story now they look at him and say…”no way.”
It reminds me of my son’s special new shoes. Les ran faster and jumped higher when he became this new creation. A year after accepting Christ he met me and the next year we were married. Three years after that he became a licensed minister with the Assemblies of God.
You want to know something sad? Many times I see people slip their feet into their new special shoes once they accept Christ. After walking around in them for awhile, they decide they don’t want to run faster or jump higher and actually prefer to put on their old shoes. They either let their spiritual feet become so cramped while they hide their sin they develop ingrown toenails, or they choose to cut the end of their shoes open and let their sin hang out there like nothing is wrong and ask us to “accept them the way they are.”
|These holey shoes are not to be mistaken for Holy Shoes.|
I don’t have a problem with accepting people the way they are. And when they become New Creations, I generally don’t have a problem seeing sin issues tag along for a season…but in reality, I believe my God is bigger than that. When the Bible says Old things have passed away it means it. Not old things can hang on until you decide to give up the cut up old shoes and truly wear the new ones.
Jesus accepts the sinner the way he is, but He loves him too much to leave him in his sin. Do you have old shoes in your closet that need thrown out? ALL things have become NEW. Don’t you want to run faster and jump higher in Him and for Him?