“I woke up late for work one morning. As I was getting ready, I put on a shirt that I hadn’t worn for around a month now only to find that it didn’t fit me anymore.
At first, I was quite pleased. I had been hitting the gym every day and a shirt getting too tight for me only meant I was making progress. I was bigger now – stronger.
But then I realised I had to get rid of the shirt since I wouldn’t be able to wear it anymore. Oh, but I loved that shirt – it had been with me for so long; I was so used to wearing it. To get rid of it would be akin to saying goodbye to an old friend.
Since I was already late for work, I didn’t waste more time changing into something else and just wore that shirt- now too small for me- and headed to the office.
But throughout the day, I was extremely uncomfortable, and you can imagine why.
My movement was restricted and it annoyed me. The shirt stuck so tightly to me that it wouldn’t let me sit, stand, walk or ride properly. And to add to that, I looked incredibly ridiculous.
Irritated, I went to the nearest store, picked up a new properly fitting shirt, and headed back to work.
And suddenly, though not surprisingly, things changed. I was comfortable. I could move freely. And of course, I felt stronger than I had been the previous month. I fit into this new shirt perfectly and I could be productive at work once more, if not more productive than before. I was contributing now – working – doing what I was supposed to be doing.
It didn’t come without a cost, though – I did have to get rid of my old shirt. Why? Because I didn’t fit into it anymore. I had to give up the old – but it was worth it.
Maybe that’s how it is with spiritual muscles too. When God helps us grow spiritually, we stop fitting into the old – our old ways of life, the places we used to go to, the things we used to do.
Some of us find it hard to let go. We love our old lives, and so we force ourselves to fit in, thinking we’ll be able to handle it.
The truth, however, is that we are never able to. Forcing ourselves to fit in begins to restrict us. It doesn’t let us work or serve in the ways God meant us to. And in the end, we just end up looking ridiculous.
We need to accept the new – where we fit – where we can grow more. We need to move into the new, where we can do what we are supposed to be doing.
Oh yes, it comes with a cost. It comes with giving up many of the things we love and, very painfully, even some of the people we love.
It comes with sacrifice – but it is worth it.”
“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the new piece will pull away from the old, and a worse tear will result. And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined.Instead, new wine is poured into new wineskins.”
– Mark 2:22