I’ve been thinking about building renovations – in particular the decisions you need to make in order to decide whether to do them or not.
Sometimes the decision is forced on you because the building is now in a state or at a size where it can no longer do the things it has been doing up to this point. And something needs to change.
If that isn’t the case, it becomes a question of what we are trying to achieve. A new look? A new functionality? Wanting to do new activities as well as the old ones? Wanting to completely change the use or purpose of an existing building? Keeping up with newer expectations for public buildings?
The reason why you are doing something should determine the outcome.
This week at church we are looking at Matthew 27, and Jesus’ death on the cross. When we ask “why did Jesus die on the cross?” we can answer that in a number of different ways. To pay for the sins of the world. In obedience to his heavenly Father. To defeat death. To bring eternal life.
These (and other) answers are correct. But if we don’t see that one reason Jesus died was to change people (or renovate people’s lives, if we stick with our building metaphor), then in one respect we are missing the point.
Jesus died to pay for my sins. So that my life would be renovated and I would be more like him in response. If I faithfully proclaim that Jesus died for my sins, but I do not change my life in response to that, then I have missed the intended result.
As James says “You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?” (James 2:20). Having Jesus die for your sins, but not renovating your life in response to that, is useless. It demonstrates we don’t really trust Jesus, or have his aims and intents in mind. We might know and give the correct theological answers, but we don’t actually believe them.
So have a think about what renovations are needed in your life? There will be things you do, think or say, that need to change in order to honour God. Jesus looks at them and says “I’ve seen the problems. I’ve submitted the development application (God’s plan for salvation), paid for all the permits and materials (the cross), and engaged the contractor (Holy Spirit). But you are just sitting around pretending that nothing really needs fixing at all.”
Will you honestly deal with them? Because Jesus already has?