I can never change. It’s just who I am. I’m stuck. Have you ever heard people say those words? Maybe even thought them about yourself? Traps of inevitability that convince us we are frozen in our weaknesses are easy to fall into and hard to escape. Escape, however, is not only possible but plausible for those who have been born again.
To show how drastic the process of being born again actually is, Peter says a brand new seed—an imperishable one—is planted in believers at conversion. Before, there existed little hope of transformation, but now we have the capability of ridding ourselves of malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander, to name a few areas of darkness (2 Peter 2:1).
The old seed produces sin. But once we come to Christ, that seedbed of corruption no longer has to bear fruit in our lives. We don’t have to just live with it!
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I forget. I forget about the powerhouse that exists in the new seed. When the familiar voices of insecurity and doubt pepper my mind, I surrender, and soon defeat is the only sound I hear.
The early church forgot, too. Peter had to “remind” them that God’s divine power had already given them everything they needed to live a godly life (2 Peter 1:3). He encouraged them to utilize that power by making “every effort” to put into practice the virtues Christ had planted in them.
Believing we can be different is not a mystical type of mind-over-matter training. Rejecting the I just have to live with it mentality combines with faith in the Holy Spirit to help us. He empowers us to exercise love over selfishness, self-control over indulgence, kindness over cruel intentions.
Friend, we will never be perfect in this fallen world. As long as we live, we will experience a battle between our flesh and spirit. C.S. Lewis remarked that he still saw those “slimy things” in the “dungeon” of his own soul. But rather than giving in to that perishable seed, let’s keep on rejecting it, repenting, and calling on the Holy Spirit for help. Let’s not just live with it.