And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
-2 Corinthians 3:18
I’ve been having a lot of conversations with people about growing in God. We’ll throw around the idea of other people who are more “mature Christians,” which would imply that there’s a process of maturing. But what does that look like?
Just like any other growth, this one is gradual. When I was younger, I’d run up to the section of the wall that marked my height almost everday (I quit pretty soon…) and remember how frustrated I was at how slow my bones grew. I was honestly expecting to wake up one day and put a new mark 17 inches above my previous dash. This never happened.
I’m seeing that a thing that people following Jesus need to hear is the same encouragement that I needed when I was younger: “Yes! You are growing.” But see, it’s more than just growing. A more suitable word, and one that Paul uses above when he’s talking to the Corinthians, is that of transforming. Where growth is just limited to adding on inches, attributes or characteristics, transformation changes the already existing properties.
If you have a broken arm, it’s one thing to just grow a third one that works. It’s another to have that broken arm transformed into something that is fully restored and working.
As broken people, Jesus offers more than just a shining crown to put on our dirty heads. He offers us his glorious robe in replacement of our shabby clothes. He doesn’t just give us patience to deal with annoying people but transforms our frustration with them into a love for them. This is a full body, full spirit, full mind transformation that is radical by nature.
Transformation is scary because you’re parting ways with what is comfortable for something new. In the Hollywood blockbuster, “The Matrix,” Keanu Reeves fearfully (but courageously) endures a transformation that alters the course of history. He leaves what is comfortable and opens his mind and heart to allow the transformation from computer geek to world-saving hero to take place.
It might not be as instantaneous — it may be hard to see how you’re transforming now. But I think you’d be surprised. I look back at those markings of my recorded height and can’t believe that I used to be that short. I pray that you’d have faith in allowing Christ to transform your heart and mind and that in looking back, you’d be just as surprised at what He’s done.
Keep running hard,