“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.” 2Corinthians 5:17
Modern psychiatry helps people understand why they do what they do by looking into their past. The premise is that you and I are products of our past. If we can identify where we have been hurt, rejected, and abused in the past, we can better understand why we react the way we do today.
While this can be helpful, especially if identified hurts are forgiven, Jesus comes to a human being in the opposite way – from our future. When you give your life to Jesus Christ you are no longer a product of what has been (that is all washed away by His precious blood), but of what He is making you by His grace. He has predestined you to “become conformed to the image of His Son.” (Romans 8:29)
In Christ we are a new creature. The old is passing away. Don’t dwell on the old in you, or you will remain trapped by it. Dwell on what He is doing by His grace, and the power of the old will lose its grip. When you dwell on the old in other people you tend to trap them with labels. “That’s just how he is.” If you look beyond people’s faults and find Jesus and what He is doing, it inspires them to rise.
A missionary in India was discouraged because many of his converts to Christianity were still clinging to some of their old habits. He prayed about this on a walk and the Lord directed his attention to a tree that had lost almost all of its leaves, but there were several dead leaves still clinging to the branches. The Lord whispered to him something like this:
“There are two ways of getting the rest of the leaves off. One way would be for you to climb up there and cut each one off individually. That would be a lot of work. The other would be for you to wait until spring, when the new life will come through the same shoots and push the old leaves out naturally. Don’t worry about their old habits. Get them focusing on their new life in Christ and they will eventually find themselves completely free.”
Focus on what you are becoming, and thank God you’re not trapped by who you once were. You’re becoming the real you!