Embracing the New Life Ahead
Contagious excitement is a wildfire spreading quickly without care or consideration for the cause or consequences. It can be startling when interacting with someone whose excitement is extreme. They might even appear “out of [their] minds” (2 Corinthians 5:13). Embracing a new lifestyle as a Christian can have a similar effect.
My dad shared with me how he scared his friends after surrendering his life to Christ. His excitement was eccentric and he wouldn’t stop telling all his friends every chance he got. They assumed he had gone crazy. Instead my dad was experiencing pure joy at the opportunity to embrace his new life.
It appears Paul was accused of the same eccentric attitude. Paul wrote 2 Corinthians in response to false prophets making accusations against him. Instead of explaining away the accusations, Paul rather gave an explanation for the extreme nature of his excitement.
”If we are ‘out of our mind,’ as some say, it is for God…..For Christ’s love compels us.”2 Corinthians 5:13 and 14
So what was the source of Paul’s excitement? Through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross we have all been given the opportunity to embrace a new life.
The Implications of Embracing the Good News
“Change doesn’t happen overnight. It starts with the desire, then one small step in the right direction.”Paula Deen
By our own power we are helpless to overcome the sin and harmful habits keeping us in our destructive cycle. Sometimes it is due to our mindset. For example someone in the pre-contemplation stage of change may have given into despair. They may believe change is impossible and isn’t worth the effort.
Sometimes we are faced with obstacles that are beyond our capacity to handle. Perhaps there are financial constraints, time restrictions or other external factors that are beyond our control.
There will always be something that will stand in our way. At least that is the “worldly point of view.” (2 Corinthians 5:16), which is why the good news is so exciting.
The old way of viewing the world, ourselves, and others is gone. For “if ANYONE is in Christ, the new creation has come.” Embracing this truth will transform our minds, so that we no longer give into despair, but rather hold onto hope. Those insurmountable obstacles will be faced with the God of the universe by our side. All this is made possible by the love of our Lord, who was compelled to sacrifice Himself for us. There is hope.
Granted this does not mean our temptations and habits will die overnight, but there is now the opportunity to choose this new way of life. An opportunity that was not always available to us. It is an opportunity to embark on a journey toward reconciliation.
“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us.” 2 Corinthians 5:202 Corinthians 5:20
The journey doesn’t end with us. For those who chose the new path toward reconciliation, there is also a mission. My dad’s excitement at surrendering his life to Christ compelled him to share the good news, as it should compel us.
References and External Resources
Matthew Henry: Commentary on Psalm 46 from Blue Letter Bible
NIV Study Bible (2011) Zondervan. Grand Rapids, MI.
Why Becoming a New Christian in Christ is so Hard from Kira Bridges