Old vs New (How We Love)

        There is a new man and nature that needs to break out and grow in each of us. This happens as we put off, reject, challenge, and wrangle in the old man and nature. Allow me to simply offer you Paul’s words:  

   “Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart (unwillingness to be teachable). They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
Ephesians 4:17-32 ESV

        Now, some people may reject the love Paul speaks of. Not everyone wants to be loved as Jesus did, but our purpose, as sons and daughters, is to offer it anyway. Jesus was rejected at times because folks did not want the truth, love, and grace he offered. We need to be ready to be strong when we are rejected. Responding to other’s rejection with truth, love, and grace like Jesus modeled.  

        One more thing, Jesus loved and healed people. Likewise, the Trinity redeems, reconciles, restores people. His mission was for broken people and his church, not for organizations, political parties, social structures, or any other man-made system of belonging. Like him, we are to support, love, build, and grow people, not organizations. Such an important truth to remember and as you move ahead in these tough times. Stay engaged with the people God brings into your life for you to share the Gospel with, not organizations.

       As Forrest Gump so elegantly stated, “That is all I have to say about that.”

- Chris Hartenstein

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