Thursday, February 11, 2016

Growing into the Clothes of Christ

I don’t share clothes with my son. There’s a reason. He’s 6’5”, and weighs less than me, though I’m half a foot shorter. If we wore each other’s clothes, we would both look ridiculous.
Thankfully, we can all get clothes to fit. We can shop. We can try things on and find what feels comfortable. We want clothes that are suited to us.
I suppose that we would like the whole world to be suited to us - that everything would be fitted to us so that we can remain comfortable, or feel cool. But the world doesn’t work that way. Why? Well, there are at least two reasons:
The first reason is that the world is broken. Everything is bent. Like an arrow that was formed straight, when it warps, it just will not fly straight. And neither does this world - its material parts, and its spiritual parts; its inanimate objects, and its animate, including you and me.
But even if the world were not broken - even if it remained exactly like it was designed by God - and this is important! - the second reason why the world is not suited to us is because it was never designed to be. The reason the world was created, including you as part of this world, was for the glory of God - not for the comfort or convenience of you. And to the extent that this broken/bent world still reflects the glory of God in some way, we will find it more and more uncomfortable so long as we live for the glory of “me” instead of the glory of God.
William Gurnall (1616-1679), in his famous book, “The Christian in Complete Armour,” speaks of the difficulty that we have with God’s ‘prescriptions.’ By ‘prescriptions,’ he means God’s laws or rules. We chafe against some of these, and are tempted to ignore those that are most uncomfortable. We will often hear arguments that they are outdated, and are merely a reflection of an earlier era. But that is not the case. Here is the quote:
(Men’s) laws are often made to fit crooked minds, as tailors alter garments to fit the crooked bodies they are designed for. The commands of God are suited to His holy nature, not to the unholy hearts of men.
We expect that God’s laws, like men’s laws, should have been suited for us. But they aren’t designed to fit us. They are designed to express the holy majesty of God. And if this is true of God’s law,
then it is also true of God’s creation. We, as creatures of God, are designed to reflect His glory, and therefore, we need to be re-shaped to fit His design.

So, the next time you feel the rub of the world against you, stop and think. Yes, the rub could be due to the brokenness of the world. Or, it could be due to the brokenness of you. Don’t ask God to change. Ask God to change you.

No comments: