“Put on your new nature, created to be like God — truly righteous and holy.” (Eph. 4:24)
I just recently watched a documentary on golfer, John Daly.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, John Daly burst onto the national scene, overnight, when (as a very last-minute entry) he won the 1991 PGA Championship golf tournament. Essentially, an unknown, he took on the greatest players in the world, and won one of golf’s four most important yearly events.
His style was so unconventional – his swing so powerful, that he often hit a golf ball harder, and farther, than any of the other players. Not only could he hit the ball farther, but his “touch” around, and on, the greens was amazing. Everyone recognized his uncanny ability – and began to predict amazing things for him. The future looked so stunningly bright…
But, as is so often the case, those with the greatest abilities also come with the greatest unpredictabilities. It always seems that the most gifted… are also the most prone to self-destruction.
John Daly became a study in the power and magnitude of addictions. Whether it was nicotine, or alcohol, or chocolate, or diet Coke, or gambling. John Daly lived life as hard as he hit a golf ball. And he paid the price in broken relationships, constant trips to alcohol treatment centers – and the loss of respect from his peers.
John Daly couldn’t get out of his own way. He couldn’t escape his “inner demons.” And he couldn’t shake the perpetual pattern of his addictive behaviors.
What could have been – what should have been – never was, because of the incessant power of his destructive addictions.
Sometimes, certain people find their way into the spotlight and become lessons for us all. John Daly reminds us of the power of our old nature. The old you has the capacity, and capability, to destroy you. In fact, one could make the case that the old nature finds pleasure in our own demise. Why is it that our addictions are always to things that bring us closer to death, earlier than we would want? And they seek to control us – even as we spiral out of control.
It all seems so senseless. So irrational. So inescapable…
But there is a way out! The hope for all of us is the hope provided by our Creator, through Jesus, and His work on our behalf.
I love the fact that the gospel is NOT about fixing our old lives (with all our old problems and addictions) – the gospel is about providing us a new life. What we need is newness – not reform, or repair. We need to know that we ARE new – not the same old person with a clean slate.
And we need to know that each and every one of us can receive this new life (complete, with a new you) to live out the rest of our lives – in victory over our old habits, in freedom over all our old addictions, in hope… over all our hopelessness!
In Jesus… welcome to the new you!
Prayer focus: God, help me to live each and every day by the new me.