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|Personal Responsibility||August 2|
WE ARE ALL CHANGED
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory. 2 Cor. 3:18.
The calendar is a useful device. It numbers our days. It tells you who are 18 years of age that you have about 19,500 days left to live; you who are 25 have 16,500; you who are 30 have 15,400; you who are 40 have 12,000. This is your capital in time. You cannot add to it. This is all there is. When people meet us after twenty years and say, "You do not look a day older," they are guilty of perjury.
But the calendar is only a pale reflection of a vaster calendar written in our lives. The most significant change takes place in our minds and in our spirits. To some the years have brought greater wisdom, a mature .spirituality, the gift of insight, and Christian character. To others they have brought a hard mind and a hard face.
How are we changed? The text says, "We all reflect as in a mirror the splendour of the Lord; thus we are transfigured into his likeness" (2 Cor. 3:18, N.E.B.). This is the basic principle. All of us are prone to reflect our last serious conversation, the last good book we read, the last Week of Prayer we attended. The phrase, "A man is known by the company he keeps," expresses a basic principle. We are nobly or ignobly changed by what we contemplate.
The love of God cannot compete with cheap jazz, cheap reading, cheap and vulgar jokes, vulgarly suggestive and low entertainment. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." That is just it. It takes that kind of mind to see God, to desire and enjoy God.
Impurity always replaces itself with impurity. Fear never replaces itself with love. Error never replaces itself with truth. Vulgarity never replaces itself with Christian refinement.
Jesus dispels our darkness of mind. In His presence it is really difficult to be mean, cruel, hostile, selfish, unclean, or vicious. To keep company with Christ is to expose ourselves to that which restores in us His image. In company with Christ we partake of His love, His righteousness, His character. The direction of our gaze, our devotion, our commitment—that is what needs to be changed, really.
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