When I was a teenager I started to read two popular women’s magazines. Not a good idea. I did not know how destructive this habit could become. As I moved into my 20s, I continued to read them. I felt that those magazines would help me learn how to be world savvy, because you know that’s definitely the way to be. What a crock! Those magazines did nothing but trample my self esteem, stash impossible goals on my “to-do list”, and constantly remind me that all I grew up learning was out of date, and meant nothing in this day and age. Yet, I wanted to belong, I wanted to know what other women were thinking and how they were behaving so I could know what I should be thinking and how I should be behaving. Smh* you know when you look back and realize that the Holy Spirit was with you all along, even before you knew of your deep need of a savior? That’s where I’m writing from remembering these things. I realize that without God (then and now), I would be in a very different place.
Many years ago, I stopped reading popular women’s magazines altogether, but when I had my first major relapse, I understood that I would have to be in bed for a while so I decided that it would be fun to revisit one of my old frequents. It was not.
I was stunned to see the ideas presented in the magazine, and then I noticed that I couldn’t really be bothered with it. I was surprised that this was a publication I once had a subscription to and would look forward to seeing in the mail. What was I thinking?
That was where I was in my life then, maybe I’ve matured a bit – or a lot, but I’m no longer there.
I feel that perhaps transformation through Christ works similarly. When we repent of our sins, accept the Lord into our hearts, and ask him to guide us, we are no longer in the place we were before we asked Him for help. We don’t do the things we used to do. We won’t even recognize them; we won’t find appeal in them any longer. When we do realize that something is different, we might even be tempted to try again, but it might not be the same. You know what else I came to realize? Even if we do “try on” an old behavior again, and attempt to settle into it, we most likely will not be at all comfortable. It is the wrong fit and we now know it.
Thinking back, we might wonder how it was that we used to be able to handle that life, and those things. We clearly see that something is definitely different.
Romans 12:2 (ERV)
Don’t change yourselves to be like the people of this world, but let God change you inside with a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to understand and accept what God wants for you. You will be able to know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect.
* Shaking my Head