Thinking Like a New Creation
“Is your son a bit of a perfectionist?”
That was the question recently asked by my son’s doctor. This was after my son talked about having “perfect” blood sugars. That word, perfect, is a big no-no when talking about blood sugar and do you know why? Because perfect blood sugars are impossible, especially with a Type One Diabetic kid!
I hadn’t thought much of it and actually had responded a resounding no to the doctor’s question. But a little while later, we climbed into the car and I asked my husband, “Do you think he’s a perfectionist?” His immediate response? A resounding no.
But then my mind drifted.
I remembered sitting with my son during a recent math lesson and noticing how he aims for high scores, and if he doesn’t get them? He gives up. He will complain that the lesson is too hard. Why? Because he didn’t get a literal 100%. If he gets less than a 100%, it sends him to a place of doubting and “I’m not smart enough for this.”
It breaks my heart, his biggest obstacle is his need for perfection.
In Romans, Paul shares of his struggle to behave and think like a new creation. He shares his frustration of knowing what he wants to do and doing the thing he hates instead. Do you know what he means?
It’s kind of like my son who wants perfect blood sugars, but who will sneak food and not give himself the insulin he needs for it. Or when he sits down to do a math lesson and expects 100% without having paid attention to the actual lesson. He, simply put, sabotages himself.
But have you noticed? The Bible is pretty clear about the importance of not letting our guard down when it comes to what our flesh wants. We’re in a continual fight against our sinful desires and, like Paul, we’re going to stumble. We’re going to mess up. We might even give in when we know that we shouldn’t. We may choose to behave in a way that reflects the world and not the new life that Jesus bought for us. But look at Paul, he didn’t give up trying to live like a new creation. He didn’t give up fighting against his sinful desires. He got back up and continued the fight.
What are we fighting for?
Having our thoughts be in line with our decision to follow Christ. Do our thoughts and actions resemble our status as a new creation, or do they more closely resemble the life that we had prior to the decision to follow Christ? Remember, we’re called to take on an entirely new attitude, a new response, a new thought process, and new actions! All this newness reflects our Heavenly Father and His family. When we strive to behave in a manner that reflects the Father, how does that impact the world around us? Doesn’t it cause some to take notice and others to ask what’s different about you? What’s different about us is Jesus. What’s different is the hope He has given us. What’s different are my priorities, my dreams, and even my definition of success, all because of Jesus. Are your thoughts in line with your decision to follow Jesus?
Who and why are we fighting?
The enemy is out to steal, kill, and destroy. That new life Jesus bought for you? Satan doesn’t want you to have it. He will do everything in his power to see that you do not attain that eternal life in heaven that Jesus died for you to have. Your freedom, your hope, your salvation, Satan is working overtime to try and get you to settle for less than God’s best for you. Remember that! Satan doesn’t come into our day, our thoughts, or our struggles dressed in a red suit with a pitchfork. He subtly works in ways that make it easy for us to let our guard down. We can’t let our guard down. We can’t give into the temptation to settle for anything less than God’s best, no matter what Satan seems to be promising us!
What to remember while we’re fighting.
Jesus has already obtained the victory. While we’re fighting these little battles, the war has been won. Jesus has the victory. Jesus has overcome the world. Ephesians 6 reminds us of the confidence of Jesus’ victory as we stand firm in faith, confident of Jesus’ success against the enemy. Are you confident? Do you see that the battle has already been won? Jesus has the victory. The war has already been won. Stand confidently in that!
How will knowing all of this change the next time you face the challenge and temptation to settle for anything less than God’s best for you? Will you give in, sabotaging yourself and going against what you really want? Or will you stand firm, fighting to have your thoughts and actions be in line with your desire to behave as a new creation?
Sometimes we’ll get it right, sometimes we won’t. But like Paul, may we always remember that Jesus has already obtained the victory!