You Don’t Have To

It is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Philippians 2:13

While watching a ten-year old movie on television I heard this encouraging yet challenging quote: ”Every passing minute is a another chance to turn it all around.” Even though it seems obvious it is apparently not so easily applied to our lives. Usually we get caught up in the inertia of habits and practices that perpetuate what we’ve always done. It is encouraging and liberating to realize that when it comes to a bad habit or living in a rut we don’t have to do it. Every passing minute is chance for a new choice.
It’s easier to say there is an opportunity to turn things around than to actually do it. Original sin clings more tightly to us than our own skin. Add to that the emotional impact of events, attitudes, and lifestyles that were or are part of our environment and you get a recipe for a rut that’s hard to escape. These have conspired against us to trap us inside a small room of limitations, low expectations, and sin.
That’s why the apostle writing to Christians in Philippi encouraged them with the news that God is the one that enables us to do what we cannot do. But before that He even enables us to desire what our sinful nature would not want. So in the power of the risen Lord who overcame the most powerful negative inertia there is, death, we don’t have to capitulate to our entrenched habits of thought, word, or deed. We don’t have to live trapped by our own guilt or by hopelessness. The Spirit that raised Jesus lives in us who believe and are baptized. He enables us to trust God’s liberating grace and forgiveness offered through Christ’s death and resurrection. He is more powerful than the most persistent sin our human nature can perceive. In the Spirit we can live with the awareness that indeed, “every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around.”
Pastor Tom Konz