If you know me or my family, then you know that I look a lot like my mom. With every year, I am basically morphing into a clone replica of Becky Sager. On a regular basis, strangers will literally come up to me and say, "Oh my gosh. You HAVE to be Becky's daughter!" I smile and nod. I might as well go around wearing a name tag that says as much. I don't mind, because my mom is awesome. If she had a bad reputation or emerged on America's Most Wanted, then I would probably rethink my association.
But I've been thinking-- what if our lives shone so brightly that people came up to us and said, "Oh my gosh. You HAVE to be a child of the King"? What if we are constantly recognized as followers of Jesus? I crave that association.
I was recently reading 2 Corinthians, and a few verses hit home more than usual. In chapter 3, Paul talks about the hope we have in the new covenant, in Jesus and His ridiculously-amazing sacrifice. He writes about the veil as a symbol of separation from God and the tremendous opportunity of removing that veil when turning to the Lord. In verses 17-18 Paul writes,
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (emphasis added).
You guys, that’s INCREDIBLE! We are being transformed to look more like God. I literally drew an arrow beside that verse and wrote “WOW” at the top of the page while sipping too-hot coffee. It’s more than my mind can comprehend.
In Christ, I’ve always known we are called to purity and holiness, but something about that verse made me think about this transformation in a whole new light. I picture God as a sculptor, chipping away at the rock and dirt of our lives—He’s polishing us and carving us to be more like Him, with more glory and grace than imaginable.
It made me rethink my strategy in presenting the Gospel in my own life. I don’t want to align myself with the Pharisees in all of their pomp and rule-following, but I don’t want to align myself with the unsaved and unrighteous, either. Because the story doesn’t end with mess and rubble and heartache. It ends with Jesus.
As children of light, our storylines should be a progression toward holiness. Is my past part of me? Yes. Am I going to mess up even in my pursuit of Jesus? Definitely. But we are being remade into a new and wonderful thing, a God-shaped and infinitely better thing. We can’t dwell on our brokenness so much that we forget the incredible beauty of transformation.
Our lives should look different than the ungodly because we are different. We have experienced this crazy-good love of Jesus firsthand, and it’s impossible to leave unchanged from that.
So, yes—let’s highlight our sins and shortcomings. Lord knows we aren’t perfect and shouldn’t claim to be. But let’s not expound our offenses without a hand pointed heavenward and the workings of a holy life.