Metanoia, not Paranoia

Over the course of so many months that we’ve been learning, unlearning, and relearning things over at church, there has been a change in so many priorities, some due to a second look at what certain things mean. 
Obviously, the biggest change is our return to trusting in Christ alone, in everything. The Gospel is all about Jesus Christ, and the Gospel of Grace is no longer just a topic, but THE absolute Truth that sets us free. He saw us while we were yet sinners, and died for us to live. To God be the glory. 
Paul called on the Church in Rome not to conform to this world but to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. There, we learned, lies the true definition of repentance – metanoia, or a change of mindset. 
That’s what I want to talk about today. Frankly speaking, I need a change of mindset. I have learned so much over these recent months and years about the Way, the Truth, and the Life… But praise The Lord, because there is so much more to learn!
The change of mindset I’m referring to today is regarding how I operate. You can blame TV and exposure to all sorts of media for having a great influence in how I work. 
I am confident in declaring that the Japanese are very passionate in everything that they do – they take their craft very seriously! Whether it be carpentry, cooking, and/or sword making, they are devoted to being not just skilled but absolutely perfect in producing quality, no matter if they are apprentices or revered masters. They take pride in their work. 
Filipinos are known for their ingenuity. Having no option is never an option for us. We are MacGyvers in our own right, able to find solutions for every set back we face. This helps us save time and money. When going under the gun, though, the danger behind our ingenuity is the present temptation to say, ‘Pwede na yan!’ (That’ll do!) and treating a quick fix as a permanent fix. 
And there lies the dilemma. I am led to believe that I got the wrong mindset in the craft I try to advance myself in – what’s wrong is I spend too much time and effort on the wrong things, apply quick fixes on what needs to be worked on more, and I though I stay away from tooting my own horn, I am violently resistant to feedback that has even the slightest deviations from what I expect. 
I am reminded that in Christ, we are excellent, but not to be blessed… We are blessed, and therefore, excellence follows! Of course, this does not discount the need to work on and to practice the craft we set ourselves to do… It’s just that (and this is one thing for me) we don’t need to be hard on ourselves any longer – we operate, knowing that our Savior is the source of all that is good and excellent, aware that it is not about what we receive, but where it’s coming from, and how we use it. 
It is Christ who qualifies me and blesses me to take good pictures and to play the guitar. It is Christ who reveals more about how I was specifically created for a great purpose, and it is in Christ that I have peace, knowing that time is never wasted with Him. 
So instead of taking pride on what I do, I continue to strive for excellence, not for my own sake but for the benefit of the people I am directed by the Holy Spirit to bless. I understand that my salvation and redemption in Christ is complete, and it is out of this that I work for more men and women to know about it. 
We’ve seen how many people have testified about how Christ broke their addictions to drugs, smoking, drinking, and/or all forms of extramarital sex. By God’s grace, I am one of those people, but I see now how all those so called ‘grave’ spiritual struggles are just the tip of the iceberg. People may be free of these things but there still exists self-centeredness, idolatry, faithlessness, pride… with the inclination to sin being in the core of it all.
Great news for us all – Christ not only took care of the tip of the iceberg, but by His life, death, resurrection and ascension, our redemption is absolute and complete… therefore, the entire iceberg, down to the frozen, dead core… is SHATTERED. In Christ, the old has passed away, and behold, all things have become new!
Brothers and sisters in Christ, be transformed by the renewing of your mind – you are free! In Christ, you are excellent, blessed, healed, favored, and deeply loved by God, blessed to be a blessing!
God bless you. 
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May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift His countenance upon you and give you His Shalom. – Numbers 6:24-26

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