I’ve been a gym rat since before I can remember. Probably 40 years. Faithfully going three times a week on a very disciplined schedule. When the new year rolls around you can count on a full house. It’s the time to get in shape, workout and shed the extra holiday pounds. All the excitement drives up the membership rolls. And those of us who call the gym home get crowded out. Not gonna lie, it’s annoying. Until February when the enthusiasm fizzles out and the gym owners hope the newbies forget to cancel their checking account auto drafts for the rest of the year.
Along with exercise comes diet and the new me has to look 20 pounds lighter in 3 weeks. Isn’t that what the whole world wants? A slimmer me? The most recent obsession on Facebook is to post YOU 10 years ago and YOU now. Oh boy, for most of us the belt is looser, the hair is grayer and there’s less of it. Add a few more wrinkles and there you have it. THE NEW ME.
Then there are the basic New Year’s resolutions, which I’m highly opposed to. If it’s that important, do it now, don’t wait until the new year and let shame get the best of you after it all falls apart in week two. We’re human, stuff happens. Whatever your resolutions, they need to make sense in your overall life strategy and how God is calling you toward change.
The Bible has a little different interpretation of the new me. We’re on this same topic at the church I attend, studying from Paul’s letter to the Colossians. To live out the reality of THE NEW ME we must first understand who Jesus is and what He’s done, and how it applies to me.
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by[f] him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. Colossians 1: 15-20 (ESV)
Let’s look a little closer. The Creator God made all things through Jesus and for Jesus. Visible and invisible. Let’s face it – we were invisible for most of time – at least to the naked eye. But remember God knew us from the foundations of the world and in our Mothers womb. As did Jesus. And we were made in His image and likeness. That means His DNA. His character. Jesus lives in each of us that choose to follow Him. We are made a new creation in Him. THE NEW ME.
We should invest less time concerning ourselves with the outside (not that there’s anything wrong with that) and more time allowing Christ to develop us from the inside. The new me has a new identity. One firmed up in Christ, guided by the Holy Spirit, created by God. Let that be an encouragement to all of us. Who cares what we looked like 10 years ago? What do we look like on the inside now? Are we being transformed? For me, I don’t recognize anything on the inside from 10 years ago. Thank God for that. As the wounds in my life were revealed -Jesus healed.
For many, worshiping the creation is far more accepted than worshipping the Creator. Including our own bodies. The creation points us to the Creator. As it should be. That means us too. We’re designed to point others to our Creator. To reflect His image.
Creation is to be appreciated. But far better for us to see it as God’s love poured out and a place where He meets us.
23 continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation[g] under heaven Colossians 1:23a
I love the ocean. I love to sit on my chair in the sand and stare at the waves, my mind wandering wherever God wants to take it. The Sea is a gift to be admired bringing worship to the One that created it. The recreated “new me” has gleaned more from my healing journey in times of quiet, solitude, and worshipping of God than in any other way. It’s been a life changer – allowing Him to visit those wounded places in my heart and in my life that the enemy used to separate me from my true-self. The one God intended for me to be. The New Me, secure in Him, loved by Him and saved by Him.
Ask yourself this, where should I shift my priorities toward the Creator from the created? What real change needs to happen in me to live fully in the freedom God has for me through His Son Jesus? Secure in who He says I am, not what I believe I need to be. Or worse yet, what the world expects of me.
The new me – the new you – awaits in Him.