It was fifteen years ago, in 1992 that the Sudanese authorities converted the main denomination of our currency from the “pound” to the “dinar.” Yet even today many people still use the old currency, at least in their speech. In the year 2000 our government changed the time by one hour, yet few folk I know continue living on the old; they call it the “real” time. Do shoppers in Sudan buy bread for one thousand pounds or one hundred dinars? Does a Pepsi cost 500 or 50? If they are arranging to meet someone, do they set the appointment for 4 pm Egyptian Standard Time or East African Standard Time? Perhaps “Insha Allah” (Arabic for “God Willing”) covers both anyway?
All of us find it hard to let go of old, familiar things and embrace the new. If we are not convinced of the need for change, we make it even harder to do. The early Christian believers had problems leaving their old ways and learning to live the new life in Christ. I think modern-day believers do too! Leaving behind selfishness, hard-heartedness, bad habits, rigid traditions and greed is not easy. Every human being has a natural bias toward pleasing himself. Our skin colors may be different, but our blood color is all the some. We all naturally sin.
The Christians who have learned to “put off the old man with his deeds and have put on the new” (Col. 3:9-10) stand out from the rest. They show that they’ve learned a life-changing secret. By letting Jesus’ ways control their own, their daily lives are very different, exhibiting truth, forgiveness, honesty, kindness and pure talk. Sadly, some Christians hang on to their pre-Christian ways of life. There is no attractive outward evidence that God has made them brand new inwardly. My guess is that He probably has not yet been allowed to.
The next time you spend “pounds” in the market, ask yourself this question: “What old things are still in my life that I should ask God’s help in changing?”
By Colin Salter
With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA. Website: www.gtpress.org