16So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
2 Corinthians 5:16-17

Yep, I’m a bit behind in my Resting at the River’s Edge reading. (How in the world did that happen? Two weeks ago I was almost a week ahead? Well, it’s been a busy two weeks!) But I read this passage this morning and was surprised at verse 16.

I usually think about and quote verse 17 in a way that relates the verse to how we think about ourselves. In other words – I am a new creation in Christ! You are a new creation in Christ! Be encouraged! Live in what God has done for you! But I noticed this morning that it follows verse 16 and verse 16 tells me not to regard anyone from a worldly point of view, because anyone who is in Christ is a new creation. Just as I once regarded Christ from a worldly point of view and no longer do so, I am to no longer regard anyone who is in Christ from a worldly perspective. What does that mean? How should it change how I think about and respond to them? Several things come to mind and I wanted to share them with you.

  • It means that they have opened themselves up to being transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit in a new and exciting (and powerful) way. I shouldn’t expect to see old behaviors, I should anticipate that they will be more loving, more kind, more hopeful, more like Christ. It’s easy to fall into patterns of expecting people to respond certain ways, especially if you’ve known the person for a long time and especially if they have a history of responding negatively. Scripture is saying that it’s important that we change our minds and attitudes and expect (in a positive way) that the new creation will in fact surprise us – that he or she will respond in a new way.
  • Just as I look for God’s blessings around me and praise and thank Him when I see them, I ought to look for signs of transformation in the new person and encourage them in their new growth. Growing and changing can be a scary thing. Acting differently from the way I’ve acted all my life makes me feel very vulnerable to others. I’m guessing that’s an almost universal response. Reward the growth and vulnerability you see in new creations by encouraging them and drawing them into your circle of friends.

So quit looking for the old ways in new creations – view them from a different perspective and watch them blossom and grow all the faster. “The old has gone, the new has come!”

2 Responses to “Look for the New!”
  1. Nina Mc says:

    Thanks for this. The Lord brought this passage to mind to me this week, and I went searching for it online. That’s when I found your entry. You note that we should no longer regard anyone “in Christ” from a worldly perspective… this is true. But the way the Lord used this passage in my life this week is that I should no longer regard ANYONE from a worldly perspective. I have been struggling recently with viewing my image, along with others, too much in the framework of worldly success. I find myself getting depressed or unmotivated, and I am realizing it is because I am not measuring up in criteria that the world uses. And I am measuring others, and envying those who are doing well at what the world says is important. This is so sick and twisted. The only criteria that matters is that I don’t measure up and deserve death; but thanks be to God that He now looks at me through Christ, and I have been redeemed! Why would I try to hold up any other measuring stick? And when “regarding others”… why would I envy those who measure up to this worldly yard stick, when I should be looking at them with love and compassion, wanting them to know the love and truth of the Savior Who has set them FREE from worldly criteria? What a gift that I am a new creation and becoming more like Christ each day. May I rejoice in the new creations in Christ around me, and look for new creations who are yet to be born as I introduce others to Jesus. That is today’s prayer of THIS new creation.

  2. Sandy says:

    Amen! Great comment and I fully agree. Thanks for sharing!

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