There are times I hold on too long.
After taking a recent inventory of the shoes in my closet I came across several pair I hadn’t worn in years.
I hadn’t stopped wearing them because I didn’t like them, or because they were no longer fashionable. I hadn’t worn them because they no longer fit. I knew this, but I hung onto them anyway. And just one more time, I had to try them on, as if something magically changed. Nothing had. After just a step or two, what I already knew to be true was once again confirmed. They didn’t fit. The old friends who had carried me through a particular time of my life were too painful to wear. My feet were never again going to comfortably wear the shoes I had hung on, and hung on, and hung on to. They were never, ever going fit again. And this day I decided to let them go.
Recently after taking an inventory of my sins, habits and defects of character, I came across a few I hadn’t worn in years. I didn’t stop wearing them because I quit liking them or because they were no longer fashionable. I quit wearing them because they no longer fit. I knew this but I was still holding on to a few of them anyway. Take for instance blame, which used to be a nice comfortable place to sink my feet. Many of these old friends (who were really enemies) had carried me faithfully through a particular time in life are now too painful to wear. Comfortable old companions such as fear, self-pity, denial, grudge holding, negative thinking, resentment, gossip, self-reliance, unforgiveness and the like no longer fit because I, like my old lady feet have changed. I have changed because I have decided to follow Christ. Which is no easy task. He says in order to follow him I must deny myself and take up my cross daily. What kind of a recruiting slogan is that? Although I hadn’t worn these old behaviors as much as used to, I was still holding on to a few. And as comfortable as the old habits may feel, Jesus demands they must go and I must become a new creation that resembles him. And while that sounds good on paper, an honest appraisal of my inner self reveals a part of me wants to hold on and just one last time, try them on, as if something magically changed and they will still work in my life. And the very good news is something has changed and those old ways no longer fit! After just a step or two, what I already knew to be true is confirmed, I am never going to comfortably wear them again.
Wearing rebellion and sin, made me an enemy of God. But the good news is I was bought at a price. God counted the cost of bringing me (and you) back into right relationship with him and found us worth the very high price. The price of his only Son’s life. Let that sink in for a moment. To accept him and his truth on his terms instead of mine, is to quit holding on, and holding on and holding on to the things that no longer fit.
And letting go is a great reason to:
Be joy filled always,