If you’ve spent any time watching home-improvement shows on TV, you’ve seen plenty of examples of transformation. Often a married couple or partners in real estate and renovation, both with enormous know-how and creativity, take an out-of-date, sometimes dilapidated house and turn it into an amazingly beautiful place to live. They usually don’t gut the original framework of the house, but everything else gets a makeover. The home takes on a truer, more lasting identity, a new version of its old self. The before-and-after pictures are quite a contrast. The end result very often brings the homeowner to tears of joy and appreciation.

These renovators don’t start a project without a plan and just see where the work leads them. They have specific drawings and blueprints before they ever start. Rarely do they fund the project themselves. Their supply comes from the homeowner or the people who will buy the house at the end of the show. Along the way, they tear out everything that’s old and replace it with new fixtures, surfaces, utilities, appliances, landscaping, furnishings, and colors. They pull in various experts and specialists to help them as needed. They become hands-on general contractors who rely on a larger team to get the job done. And by the end, they have created together a masterpiece of function and design.

Your new life in Christ is a lot like a renovation project. It’s supplied by an unlimited source, the “one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (Eph. 4:6). There is a very clear design plan, a blueprint that looks just like Jesus. This plan does not do away with your frame or your individual personality, but it does give you a new identity and purpose. A team of specialists is involved; they use the spiritual gifts God has given to His people through Christ’s victory. You tear out the old things that no longer fit the vision of who you are becoming, and you replace them with new, Christlike features. And the end result, the contrast between before and after, is enough to bring us to tears of joy and appreciation.

Ingram, Chip. 2021. Yes! You Really Can Change: What to Do When You’re Spiritually Stuck. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

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