Renewed Life

Since you have been chosen by God who has given you this new kind of life, and because of his deep love and concern for you, you should practice tenderhearted mercy and kindness to others. Don't worry about making a good impression on them but be ready to suffer quietly and patiently. Be gentle and ready to forgive; never hold grudges. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.

Most of all, let love guide your life, for then the whole church will stay together in perfect harmony. Let the peace of heart which comes from Christ be always present in your hearts and lives, for this is your responsibility and privilege as members of his body. And always be thankful. Colossians 3: 12-15 (TLB)

Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but be a new and different person with a fresh newness in all you do and think. Then you will learn from your own experience how his ways will really satisfy you. Romans 12:2 (TLB)

Merry Gultom is from West Java, Indonesia. When she learned about the metamorphosis of butterflies, Merry was amazed. She finds caterpillars to be unpleasant - especially those that sting when you touch them. But it is through the caterpillar that we get the gentle and beautiful butterfly. The transformation is a miracle. And once the metamorphosis has happened, we don't remember the caterpillar; we simply enjoy the beauty of the butterfly.

It's the same in Merry's life. She thinks she has "caterpillars" in her that sting others and make them dislike being close to her. It is difficult to get rid of negative feelings and behaviors, but as a follower of Christ, Merry must be willing to change. With the help of the Holy Spirit, Merry can cast off feelings of inferiority, anger, and selfishness. It takes time, and the process is not easy; but in doing so Merry can follow Paul's advice: "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds."

This is true for each of us. With the help of the Holy Spirit and trusting in God, we too can change our feelings and behaviors from negative to positive. It is a choice we can make every morning when we wake up to start a new day in Christ.

Prayer: Dear God, help us to let go of negative feelings and behaviors. By your power transform our lives into things of beauty, in Jesus' name, amen.

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