“It’s just the way I am…” I’ve said it and heard it from others and every time, it drives me to immediately go to God and ask for a change. I can’t hold onto the belief that there is anything in us that is unchangeable. I’m not talking about genetically designed manners or even the proverbial “thorn in the flesh.” But I am talking about character traits, the habits and inclinations in our personality that bring about our immediate reactions, our initiations, how we respond to entrenched situations, what we are attracted to and repulsed by. If we accept that we are unable to change then I believe we have in essence deified ourselves as an unchanging god more powerful that the God who saved us and made us new by His grace.
If we are born again then why do we crawl back into the skin of the dead? Why do we find solace in the smell of the decomposed? We long for new mornings, new mercies, new friends, new scenery, new jobs, new shoes… but we hold fast to our old habits, old nature, old desires, old sin. We give power to the reminiscent and glory to the good ole days. New is only chic if it honors the old.
So, what does it look like to truly be born again? To go back into the womb of God willingly, responding to the election of His call to not only redemption but to “newness of life (Romans 6:4).” To pray for and accept new desires (Psalm 37:4). To allow the death of ourselves to have its victory so that reconciliation of the new creature will exist (2 Corinthians 5:14-21). To “seek the things that are above, where Christ is… (Colossians 3:1).” To spend time every day choosing behaviors just as you spend time choosing your clothes—putting on “compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you… And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony…and be thankful (Colossians 3:12-15).”
So, what does it look like to truly be born again? It looks like life.