Make Me Somewhat Better?
Last week I was driving my son to youth group and me to a Board of Elders meeting. We were listening to Third Day’s Revelation CD in the car. The song “This Is Who I Am” came on and my son said something that at first made me laugh, but then it got me thinking.
The chorus to this song says:
This is who I am
This is who I am
So take me and make me something so much more
This is who I am
This is who I am
So change me and make me someone better than before
Now, I’m not completely sure whether my son truly misheard the lyrics or was trying to be funny (because he is known for his off-the-wall sense of humor). Right after the chorus played he said, in his typical 16-year-old sarcastic voice, “Oh that’s a great thing to say. Okay, God, change me but don’t change me too much. Just make me ‘somewhat’ better than before.”
As I said, my first reaction was to laugh. But as I drove home later (my meeting having gone much later than his youth group gathering), I listened to the song again and was a little sad because it occurred to me that many Christians do say that very thing to God. They don’t mind if God changes them a little, but they don’t really want any big changes. They say to God, “Make me somewhat better.”
I think one reason for this is because many people think they are pretty good already. They go to church on Sunday, they don’t steal or cheat, and they’ve never murdered anyone. They think there really isn’t much need for significant improvement. They like the status quo. It’s comfortable and familiar.
But God doesn’t want to just make a few minor adjustments. He doesn’t want to make us just “somewhat” better. He wants to remake us in His image, to be and love like Christ. As Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV).
In my little town, there is a mix of small older houses and new mansions. We actually have a very large house that was just built across the street from us. There used to be a nice little 968 square foot cottage on that lot, and I’ve often wondered why they didn’t just add onto or remodel that house. After all, that’s what we did with our house; we remodeled and added on. From the street you can hardly tell the house is any bigger or different.
But that’s not what the developer who bought the cottage across the street did. He tore down the cottage and has replaced it with a 5 bedroom, 3 ½ bath house. God is a lot like that developer. He does not want to work in us the equivalent of a small remodel or even an addition. He wants to tear down the old house and build an entirely new one.
So how about you? You know who you are now; are you ready for God to make a complete change? Or are you asking Him to just make you somewhat better? Do you want what He does in you to be barely noticeable from the outside? Or do you want people to wonder whether you are even the same person they used to know?
Oh, and here’s a video of the song by Third Day. If you can’t help but hear the lyrics as “somewhat” instead of “someone,” I apologize. But just maybe it will help you remember what God wants to do with your life and mine.
Not sure if this really applies to this post well or not . . .but I just had to share: Butt Prints In The Sand.
🙂 God bless you! deb
Deb, I think it applies perfectly! Thanks for sharing, it made me laugh. But I read it to my husband and his reply was, “That doesn’t sound right, God dropping you on your butt.” We’ll see. 😉 Peace, Linda
I know what your hubby means! ha! But, it’s better than Him dropping us on our head. 😉 The part that doesn’t sound like God to us . . .the “I got tired, I got fed up” . . .He IS longsuffering, patient and full of lovingkindness. (But the children of Israel still got “dropped on their butts” in Babylon.)
love, deb 🙂
What is that about ‘great minds’? The same thought is contained in one of the two blogs I am preparing at present.
“Make me somewhat better” is preferred to one I hear a lot “This is the way God made me, so you have to love me as I am”.
The latter tries to put the blame on God but doesn’t excuse. The former is useless. God doesn’t reform and isn’t interested in self-improvement. His emphasis is on re-creation: a complete change with a change of ownership and control.
Thankfully, I am not the person I was 50 years ago – or 5 years ago – or 5 weeks ago. Left to myself, I would be on a downhill path, but *HE* continues His work in me, gradually changing me, molding me into Christlikeness. I am nowhere near the goal, but I know He will continue His work and will one day present me faultless before the throne – but certainly NOT due to any effort of mine.
Angela, I’ve heard that, too, from people who insist they don’t need to change and God loves them like they are. I know God loves me like I am, but He doesn’t want to leave me that way. He wants to make me just like Jesus. I can’t wait to read your post on this. 🙂 Peace, Linda
Heck yes, Linda. In my childlike 16 year old way, I’m way too scared to ask for complete change, when I’d rather hang on to parts of the old me.
Maybe I’d be better off going all the way, a new creature in Christ. It’s been a rough confusing Alzheimer’s/ barking dog day. Maybe I’m ready to take that leap.
Do I have the guts to ask Him? We’ll have to see… : )
Linda, I must confess that I’m a long way from the wholesale makeover myself. I’ve let go of a lot of the old me, but there are parts I still want to hang on to. We’re all a work in progress. By the way, your poem is going to be one of My Tuesday Three tomorrow. I hope you won’t mind. 🙂 Peace, Linda
This is really ministering to me Linda . .. thank you. Loved the song, of course. Your message with it is powerful. It is something that I keep praying for, nearly everyday, for Him to change me. But I need to add “completely” to that prayer.
Quite a few years back, I was praying. There was a lot going on, a lot of family around me not happy with me, a lot of pressure. Oh my I prayed. You probably know what happened, don’t you? None of them changed, my situation didn’t change, but somehow He changed me and how I dealt with it all. 🙂 I keep needing that kind of change.
God bless you and your heart for Him, and your desire to ask and want Him to change you.
Deb, That does seem to be the most amazing thing about prayer – it doesn’t change our circumstances but it allows God to change how we deal with the circumstances we are in! We always want others to change, but we have no control over them. We need to just find joy in the Lord and pray He will change what He sees fit to change. Peace, Linda
“He wants to tear down the old house and build an entirely new one.”
This has been echoing in my head all day…
Made me think of 2 Corinthians 5:17 … ” 17Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” Made me also wonder how many old things I have tried to make functional when all I had to do was give them to Him so He could give me something new in return.
Sometimes the obvious is not so obvious. I am thankful for His patience!
Blessings much, Linda
Ann, I think I’m still a little bit in remodeling mode myself, though I’m closer to wanting Him to tear down the house and start afresh than I once was. I am thankful for His patience, too! 🙂 Peace, Linda