Jesus Didn’t Promise to Make You Better

I walked around my house with a builder friend of mine talking about some of the things I wanted to change and update. The house was about 40 years old and was becoming seriously dated in its curb appeal. After I finished making one of my points, my friend looked at me and said, “Mike, I can fix everything you’re talking about and at the end of it all, you’re still going to have a forty-year-old house. You don’t need a new coat of paint. You need a new house!”

That’s the problem with most of our lives. We don’t need a few things fixed. We need a new us.

Jesus doesn’t promise He’ll make us better. He promised to make us new. It’s not a matter of being “better” or dealing with a few bad habits. Our problem is we’re fundamentally messed up. We can’t tell right from wrong, up from down, or good from bad. We do things we know are wrong. We do them even though we don’t want to do them. We know what’s right; we just don’t have the courage to do it. (Paul says this better in Romans 7.)

An experience with Jesus changes us from the inside out. Our hearts are changed. We desire different things. We want the things Jesus wants.

It changes the way we think. We’re intrigued and captivated by the things Jesus talks about.

It changes the way we love. No longer do we see love as a contract (you love me and I’ll love you back), but as Christ’s living reality within us. Our brokenness is replaced with His strength. Our anxiety is replaced by His peace. Our anger is buried under His love.

We’re not just different. We’re new. That’s why we call it being “born again.” This is the transformation Jesus promised. The problem isn’t that we need a few things fixed. We need a new us. That’s why the gospel is good news. In Him, all things are made new.