Only for Those Who Are Sick of the Old Life
God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ. Ephesians 2:4-5
Working in addiction medicine, I don’t spend a lot of time recruiting people for recovery. I don’t go out looking for those who aren’t interested, trying to convince them that they need to change. There are more than enough people who know they need help to occupy my time. So, I work with those who already desire transformation. Just wanting to change doesn’t automatically mean success. Repeated failure is still an everyday occurrence. For recovery to begin though, the one struggling with chemicals must desperately want it. If he doesn’t know he’s sick, he’s not going to seek radical treatment. So, I spend my time with those who know they’re ill.
For me, my recovery is inescapably intertwined with my faith. They are the same process of turning from the old ways to find new life in God. So, I take a similar approach in sharing my faith with others. I don’t spend a lot of time trying to convince people they need God. There are a lot of reasons people say they don’t believe. Often though, it’s preference. They simply don’t want to believe. I’m not going to argue them into faith. Rather, I simply share my story of resurrection – Once, in my addiction, I was dead. Now, I have a blessed new life in Christ.
Paul described this central message of the Bible in today’s passage. In it, he said that God, in his great love, has resurrected us from death to life. This is the profound hope of the Bible, but it is only hopeful to those who want it. This message is only for those who know they’re lost. It’s only those who’re desperate for change that will give up the old life for the new one. If you’re happy and comfortable with where you’re at, you likely have no interest in radical transformation.
Paul’s message is a reminder to those who’ve been changed and it’s a call to those of you who desire change. If you’ve been given a new life you must share your story with those who’re seeking it. If however, you’re still sick of the misery, and if you’re desperate for life, joy, and peace, then this message is for you. You may have your doubts and your objections to faith or recovery. When you become desperate enough for new life though, bring the old on to God, asking him to resurrect you. Then you too will have your own story to tell. Once I was dead, but now I’m alive.