I used to LOVE this song! My 10 -year -old throat would scream botched lyrics without a second thought of what this song really meant. Now, as an adult, the song’s concept speaks in more ways than one and this one hit me HARD! I’ve always considered myself to be a nonjudgmental person, that is, until I became comfortable with living saved. Not because I felt I was better than anyone else, but because during those times of being a listening ear, I’d become baffled at the obvious signs of chaos and destruction the talker failed to see before it came to this.
Asking probing questions to understand wasn’t the focus, as I understood most of their feelings as people, but to point them to begin reminiscing on red flags they ran over while distracted by the promise of whatever they wanted at the time. Any and every topic was up for discussion, sexuality, trauma, pettiness, self-esteem… anything they wanted to get off their chest wasn’t a issue…at least until I met this girl. She was an acquaintance and would vent to me every now and then. The issue came when the discussion of cheating came up and I didn’t even know I had such a hatred for cheating, I hadn’t experienced it, but I found out that day. So much so, I requested her to not talk about it to me, since she wanted to talk about it like Monday night football; I found myself distancing from her.
I know…I felt bad for doing it. On one end, I felt that her decision was apart of her character and I didn’t want company with someone who’d be excited about this! Not school, health or anything I considered progressive, but in trends and drama. Sis.. I can’t get wrapped up in this!! On the other hand, I shouldn’t have to hear about anything that urks me! Again, I have no idea why this is such a hard topic with me and plus, she’s not asking for advice, she’s bragging!
I reconciled this by thinking about how much I hated the action, not her… surely not her! I mean, she hasn’t done a thing to me! Then I realized, we have more in common than I originally thought. If anything, seeing her delight in her decisions reminded me of a Aeriel I had buried, or at least I thought I did right?!
When we are delivered from something, we were once proud of, It’s easier to spot the missing pieces of someone else’s puzzle and sometimes, we think that warning them of an incomplete picture would help them. When they don’t receive the warning and we become frustrated with their life decisions, take a step back. I’ve realized that who I believe she is now, (Then) will resurrect who I was…or am I still her? Has my old nature truly died??
“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinth 5:17 NLT
I used to be her, only, my preferences were different on the surface but at the root, it’s identical to what I saw in hers: contributing to unfaithfulness in my relationship with my God and myself. I would consistently choose my cravings, that would hush my emotional wailing for attention and comfort in the form of 2:45 am “sent” text. Or in shot glasses, just to past the time in drunkenness to help bring sleep faster.
Ever since I let that life go, I’ve been working to heal from the consequences of those decisions. Now that I’m not actively doing the actions of before, I noticed that while the actions changed, the method didn’t! Only now, I exchanged my comforts, I went from distracting myself with people and going out to now comparing my level of goodness with someone else’s. The whole time, it wasn’t from a sense of “I’m better than you.”, but from a place of “thank God I’m not struggling with that anymore.” None of it mattered, because we all are struggling with something, it just becomes harder to readily detect now.
Having a new life, doesn’t necessarily mean that we forget the old one. If anything, just like myself, we dead the actions of old but never confront the mentality that got us there and believe we’ve been totally made new, when in fact we’ve just put on makeup. Our job is not to fulfill the role of Christ, even He didn’t come to condemn the world. Our job is to be reflectors of His image and that can’t be done until we ensure our old life, old mind are dead for good.
Sing the chorus of Usher’s “you remind me” and you’ll see exactly what I mean.