Lately, Em and I have been caught up watching a show on HGTV called ‘Fixer Upper.’ The premise is that a couple from Waco, Texas helps couples purchase homes that are in need of some repair for a cheap cost, and then uses the remainder of their budget to completely remodel the house to their taste. The houses they choose are always cool places that just need someone with a keen eye to help them reach their full potential. It’s a cool concept for both those, who like me prefer new clean things, and those, like my wife, who see the value and character in what is already there.
As I watch the show, I can’t help but see the parallels to the human condition. Each one of us was created with both physical and spiritual realities. The outside of us, the structure itself doesn’t change all that much. A new paint job, or an addition or subtraction sure, but the ‘bones’ pretty much stay the same. What needs changes, and sometimes drastically, over time is what’s on the inside. Over time neglect and wear and tear have taken their toll on us, both emotionally and spiritually and have left us in need of a makeover of sorts.
Sometimes the usage has made us better, we have learned from the ‘junk’ of life how to live in a way that brings hope to those still walking through it. We are a walking history and how-to for those those in need. At other times and in other places though, what is inside of us is rotting and diseased, and needs to be completely torn apart and made new. Enter the One with just the right eye to see the value in what’s already there, as well as the potential that is hidden underneath.
Paul speaks of the transformation only Christ can bring us often, but perhaps most directly in these two spots;
“… be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2 ESV)”
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV)”
At the end of each episode of the show, we are treated to the before and after shots of the same house, and most times it’s almost unrecognizable. The change is that dramatic. Even the people who bought it can hardly remember it the way it was. Unfortunately, this is not always the case with us as people is it? It’s easy to remember who a person was, the mess that was inside them. But this is not how God sees us.
“For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:3-4 ESV)”
God sees the fixed up you. The one with all the restoring and remodeling. The one that causes people to look at you and cry tears of happiness and amazement. That should give us peace. That should bring us joy. That should make us want to see each other that way too.
The truth about us, you and me, is that we are ‘fixer-uppers.’ Always have been and always will be – and Jesus is renewing, transforming and recreating us each and every day. Don’t be afraid to live in a way that demonstrates all the fixing He has done, people need to see it to appreciate it. And when you look at someone who’s life you remember from before the remodel, let their past serve only to remind you of how far they’ve come, and just how much their great-big God is capable of.