Are You A Rehab Addict?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARenovations 2011

I love home shows that display how to transform something old, making it look new.   The “Rehab Addict” from my home state, Nicole Curtis, buys run down homes and completely remodels them for resale.  She is a hard-working, spunky young woman.  She says, “For me, there is no halfway!  It’s always to the extreme.”

This is the mark of a perfectionist.  It is generally considered a good thing to seek the very best.  However, there can be trade-offs to going to the “extreme” when it comes to remodeling homes.  For example, the homes our Rehab Addict buys are sometimes in less desirable locations.  The first three rules in real estate are: Location, location, and location.  So, if she invests too much money in perfecting a home in a low rent district, she will lose.  She loses time and money by going to an extreme in a location that will only generate profit on the mediocre or ‘good enough.’

Recently a friend confessed, “It is all or nothing for me.  That’s just my personality. I have always been that way.”  She gave me some of examples of different things she has tried and gone to the extreme only to eventually burn out or just stop trying.  I have met many people with tendencies like this and it is always curious to me what drives them to the opposite spectrum?  What compels a person to move from one extreme to the other? And why do they stop progressing?

When it comes to our spiritual homes, does God want us to be a rehab addict?  I believe the answer is yes and no.  I mean, not in the way we generally think of doing rehabilitation.  We usually try, try, and try again to the best of our human ability to make changes and improve ourselves.  We have a tendency to forget to rely on the strength of God to help us overcome whatever “uglies” we are attempting to turn pretty.  Financial success means that Nicole has no choice but to use her brain and brawn to get those condemned houses torn apart and built back up, but why do we think we need to use our own brawn to clean up the inner dirt of our lives?  In fact, how can we do this on our own?

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; I Corinthians 6:19 NIV

Dallas Willard has written a book on a different sort of rehabilitation, it is called Renovation of the Heart, Putting on the Character of Christ.  He points out the desire most of us have to transform and the charge for Christians to become like Christ.  Willard gives examples of the reality of dilapidated spiritual houses all around us with the increase of divorce, online pornography, crimes of all kinds, and other rampant sexual seductions from the TV to the grocery store.

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely. And may your spirit, soul, and body be kept sound and blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 HCSB

So, yes, surely God desires us to be in the habit of transforming our spiritual lives; but the only thing we should be addicted to is the first and greatest commandment: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  Following this will give us all that we need to transform from the inside out.  A whole mind-body-spirit make-over is a beautiful sight to behold and the best investment you will ever make because the return is priceless.

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26 ESV

Put all your rebellion behind you, and find yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. Ezekiel 18:31a NLT

This post is dedicated to Lacey and Thais as they finish their last days on this earth with bodies that are failing them.  Each are looking forward to new life with Christ and having their bodies fully restored in such a glorious and radiant way that we can only imagine until we are there in God’s presence.

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. Philippians 3:20-21 NIV

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