Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17
This powerful verse is sandwiched in the middle of Paul talking about his great struggles with persecution, the pains of alienation from those he won to the Lord in Corinth, and the judgments he battled from the “image-based” culture all around him. He had just written that he handles all of this by fixing his eyes on what is unseen, because what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal.
Paul chose not to return to others the same attitude that they had given him. He looked far above the fleshly and selfish pride of others and found much higher ground. He chose his attitude and then lovingly taught the Corinthians who were acting so much like immature babies.
Why would Paul not fight back in the same way that he was being accused? Paul understood so much more about having a spiritual attitude toward everything, a mindset of eternal things rather than temporal things. Excessive focus on our looks, body image and our judgments of others appearance are fleshly, carnal, and based in pride and selfishness. These are the ways of the world!
But when we are in Christ, our whole outlook changes from external to internal, fleshly to spiritual, and selfish to selfless. Christ Jesus becomes our whole focus and devotion and our love for Him and His great sacrifice for us far outweighs anything else in our lives. Then His Spirit makes us entirely new creations that do not even resemble the past ways of believing and behaving and living.
God, I don’t want to resemble anything like the ways of the world. I want the world to look at me and say “new creation – he’s totally different and I want to know more.” Help me to put off any more old ways that are not useful to you and others.
Heard in prayer
Think of Me and keep your eyes and thoughts fixed on Me. The more you focus on Me the less you will be like the world and the more influence I can have through you to change your world.