Be Who You’re Becoming
It’s a new year, which means millions of people like you and me are taking time out for some self-reflection. A long look in the mirror—both literal and metaphorical—to find and fix our flaws.
When I look in the mirror, past the fingerprints and flecks of toothpaste, what strikes me are the physical signs of sin—the aging image of God that stares back at me. Gray hairs (where hairs may still be found), crow’s feet, and purple circles under my eyes. My body doesn’t look or feel the way it used to. These are the steady effects of the fall, a genuine reflection of 2 Corinthians 4:16.
Even worse, I’m well acquainted with the depths of my heart, whose long war with the flesh wages on. Praise God my heart’s no longer made of stone, but the problem with hearts of flesh is that they’re wild and still need taming.
This is life in the Not Yet.
Now step away from the mirror. It doesn’t tell the whole story. Those slabs of glass in the bathroom reflect an image that’s reversed and flat and only half-true, much like self-reflection without the hope of God’s Word. Biblical self-reflection requires us to look at ourselves as God sees us in Christ: a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), seated in the heavenly places with Christ (Ephesians 2:6), God’s heir (Romans 8:17).
Peter puts it this way: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).
This is the Already!
Sometimes I imagine what it will be like when heaven and earth are made new. On that day, we’ll look in the mirror (if there are mirrors at all) and finally see someone who looks like our Savior. Someone whose sins, though dark as scarlet, have been washed white as snow. Someone whose body, once wasting away, has been glorified. Someone who has been completely “conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29).
You. Me. Sinless.
Sure, right now we wrestle with the flesh. So we can identify with Paul in Romans 7 as he describes the battle of desires within his own body. Yet we stand on promises like this:
Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure (1 John 3:2-3)
Our duty and delight in the Already/Not Yet is this: to be who we’re becoming. To be more like Jesus. Let’s resolve daily to remember the Already, to revel in that glorious reality, and to constantly look to Christ—our hope, our righteousness, and the end of our Not Yet.