If you know me in real life or you’ve been reading this blog for a while or you follow me on Pinterest or Instagram, then you know how much I love old things. Old houses, vintage clothing, stuff that’s showing age and character always catches my eye and makes my heart skip a beat. But I love new stuff, too.
Yesterday I was reminded just how much we all love new. My kids had mentioned they needed some new clothes and since I knew the boy had outgrown everything (again) and the girls had worn out their favorite jeans, I planned a shopping trip. I’m not a big fan of shopping unless it’s to the thrift store so the thought of this all-day shopping trip made me sightly nauseous. However, their eagerness to get their school work done early and their excitement about the day ahead put a pep in my step. Well, that and an extra cup of coffee.
I pulled on my favorite pair of stretchy skinny jeans and a happy kimono and we were off. Speaking of wearing out—-see those cute wedges? While we were in Target, our second stop of the morning, I noticed they felt a little funny and I looked down to discover this:
How sad! This is one of my favorite pair of shoes. Thankfully, I had brought along a pair of flats just in case my feet started to hurt. Caleb assures me he can fix these as good as new with some crazy glue. We’ll see!
As Good as New
There’s nothing quite like a new pair of jeans, a pretty new rug for the home, or even a new-to-you car. But, eventually, the new wears off, stuff wears out, and everything feels old.
Can this be true of Jesus?
Here’s some Truth that will help.
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6)
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17)
But you (God) remain the same, and your years will never end.Psalm 102:27
“Though all things are changing, dying, perishing, like a vesture folding up and hastening to decay, yet Jesus lives, and thus all is secure, for he hath said, Because I live ye shall live also.” Matthew Henry
What a glorious hope for those who have placed their faith in God. He is alive and unchanging!
But the truth is, in our often-tempted, weak-minded foolishness, how we see God and how we relate to Him might change. We are human beings, prone to wander. And when we wander it can feel like the new has worn off.
6 Reasons the new wears off in our relationship with Jesus:
1. We focus more on religion than relationship. Being a Christian means having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. This relationship is based on the confession of faith in Jesus Christ as Creator and Only Begotten Son of God who is our Redeemer.
2. We focus more on what we want Jesus to do for us than what He wants us to do for Him. If we often go to God in prayer with a list for him to fill we may be sorely disappointed. God is our provider, healer, and guide and prayer is the primary means through which we communicate with Him. But that does not mean he answers our prayers according to our wishes, but thankfully, according to His wisdom and love for us.
3. We focus more on being happy and less on being holy. I like being happy. I think seeing me happy makes God happy. His Word says He rejoices over me with singing! But His desire is to make me more like Jesus (Romans 8:29) and change and growth that result in Christ-like holiness often require suffering, brokenness, and dying.
4. We focus more on what others are doing and less on what God is doing. The world is full of evil people and carnal Christians. It’s easy to get discouraged as we see the actions and attitudes that are contrary to the abiding life in Christ. But through it all God is on His throne. He is not surprised nor is he frantically trying to figure out what to do. God is always at work around us and we can rest in His purpose and plan.
5. We focus on the activity of the Enemy more than the sovereignty and power of God. (see#4)
6. Our momentary happiness with stuff outweighs our deep and abiding joy in Christ. If you lost everything—all your possessions, your friends and family, even your health—could you, like Job, say, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him”? (Job 13:15)
Jesus is always shiny! He never gets old or worn out. There is no replacement plan needed. Sometimes it can feel as though the new has worn off the relationship we have with Him. The excitement and joy we felt as a new believer can grow stale. If we’re not careful we’ll begin to look around for something to satisfy and fill us. But new stuff, new people, and new experiences can never satisfy the longing of our hearts the way Jesus can.Tweet this
If you’re feeling like the new has worn off in your relationship with Him may I offer a few suggestions:
1. Go where the new is. I love thrift stores and I’m perfectly happy filling my wardrobe with second-hand clothing. But when I go to Target or TJ Maxx, the look and smell of new stuff is intoxicating. While on our recent shopping trip, I was strictly focused on finding new clothes for the kids. Then my daughter came to me with this long sweater thingy and says, “Mom, this would be so cute on you. You should get it. Here, try it on.” I did. She was right—maybe not about the cute part but definitely that I should get it. Sometimes I get used to the old and settle for the old when there’s a whole lot of new out there. The same is true in our relationship with Jesus. Go where the new is. Ask a friend or family member (especially a new believer) how they came to know Jesus. The newness of their testimony will be intoxicating and can be just the thing to breathe new life into your relationship with Jesus. No doubt you’ll be reminded of your own conversion experience when you hear another share and you’ll experience the joy of God’s salvation all over again.
2.Get rid of the old. Old pieces are often filled with the character that comes with age but sometimes a piece outlives its usefulness. I think my broken shoe falls into that category! It’s probably time to ditch that pair. There are more than a few pieces of clothing and furniture in my house that I need to toss. I’ll admit I get attached and comfortable with them and have a hard time letting go. Is there something you’re holding onto that you need to let go of? A past offense or memory? A bad habit? A way of thinking or acting?
Let’s give the old to Jesus. Don’t sweep it under the rug or stuff it—that won’t help much. Talk to Jesus and let Him take it once and for all. If you remember it again (or the devil reminds you) tell yourself (and him) that you gave that to Jesus and you don’t need or want it back!
As we headed home from our shopping trip the kids were talking about their new clothes and making plans to wear them soon. I enjoyed seeing their new outfits and the gratitude they expressed to their dad and me. We should do the same.
A New You: Put on Christ
Let’s make plans today to wear Jesus this week. Show off the the new you adorned in His mercy and grace. Express your gratitude to your Heavenly Father for the price He paid to give you a new life. And don’t forget the shoes of the gospel of peace. Now there’s an outfit that’ll never wear out.
I pray you’ll meditate on these Truths this week: (Click here for a printable copy)
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. Isaiah 43:18
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19
See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. Isaiah 65:17
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26
Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16
My dear friend, Elisa Pulliam, has a new book coming out in a few months: Meet the New You: A 21-Day Plan for Embracing Fresh Attitudes and Focused Habits for Real Life Change. I’ve preordered my copy and you can, too, by clicking the link above.