Many of us ascribe a positive meaning to the word natural, whether in reference to talent, a warm friendship, or even fresh produce. But when it comes to our thoughts, the natural course isn’t always best. Consider your initial response to conflict—for many, it’s anger or fear. Or do you recoil when someone looks and acts differently than you expect or prefer? Such “natural” reactions aren’t aligned with God’s heart.
Fortunately, these instincts and reactions don’t necessarily indicate who we are. For Christians, they can instead serve as reminders of Adam and Eve’s grave mistake (Genesis 3) and how it forever changed humankind, birthing each of us into a state of sin. Let such tendencies bring to mind who we once were and how God is working on us now. Yes, in Christ we are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), but a struggle continues between old flesh patterns and our new nature (Rom. 7:15-25). Becoming who God created us to be is a lifelong process, which often occurs in small moments as we choose love over every other thing.
Think about it • Did anything happen recently that revealed the struggle between the old and new you? How can those moments be an opportunity to let God work in your life?
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.