What's new? What should be new? Do we really need "to put on the new man", as the Bible says? Is the old one not good enough? No, its not. I trust my guide book, the Bible: "... be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." A different translation is this: "Let the Spirit change your way of thinking and make you into a new person. You were created to be like God, and so you must please him and be truly holy." (Ephesians 4: 23/24, TNC)
There is no other way to become new and to discover glimpses of the true essence of life than dealing upfront with the false sense of what life isn't. We are not trapped by "who we are" (oh dear), we are allowed to take with us only what was good in our upbringing, education, formation, family affairs, experiences - and leave behind the rest: lack of empathy, egoistic pursuits, meaningless time-wasters, social loafing, gossiping and mentally focusing on things that might go wrong. Who could impede this?
There was an evening when I was in high school, when too many character traits I didn't like anymore, difficult settings and other obstacles including what I felt was an entrenched proclivity to criticize had piled up in such a way that I didn't even know where to start to pray about them. I wanted to be better. After hours of ruminating, panic, feeling stuck and sorry for myself, laying on my back on my bed, the quiet voice of spiritual intuition called for a different view - and mentally I did go higher, like in a helicopter, leaving behind what I felt had no substance anymore. I stopped going through each single obstacle and felt how I could be directly what God made me to be. I felt suddenly that this is so easy. It is so easy to be what Love, God, wants us to be. Building on God's creating and care with expectancy and joy. My frustration gave way to gratitude and the willingness to work for what I prayed for.
Oh the ego, this self, this constant arguing for its own agenda: As if complaining or criticizing, or feeling sorry or grumbling would have ever helped anywhere. Not once in the history of mankind has anything been accomplished by ingratitude, nagging or negativity - this sense of self really doesn't understand a thing about life, about the dignity of mercy, the worth of each moment.
So what's new this coming year? Instead of expecting something new from somewhere, let it be a new you. "The new man" - "a new person". The new "new" is the real deal. The gold standard. The new is not the renovated old. It is truly the new, truly genuine and authentic. It is pure luxury to discover our innate sense of dignity and freedom - and humility always leads the way, at least in my experience.
I have put on my agenda to become better in making no assumptions. The "the new man" I am intending to put on is the "assumption free man", listening and watching out for good and expecting God's presence and power to carry the day. No assumptions. This is my plan. I am on the alert for a few days now.
Spirit, Love, does know us better than our ego is willing to admit, and our true "new self" already knows that. Spirit is reported in the Bible (NLT, Rev. 2: 17) as saying: "And I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one understands except the one who receives it." A new you, a new name. Have a happy new year!
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In my work as Christian Science practitioner and writer I draw on listening to God and listening to people.
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