"I've been active in the church since I was a child; it is part of who I am", said Jenny. "But, Jenny", replied her husband, "you don't seem to get much enjoyment out of all your church committee work. Is it what you really want to do?" "Of course it is", she snapped. "My father was a preacher, you know". "Besides", she continued, "being part of the church is no laughing matter; Christian service is a serious responsibility". "I gusss that means no Sunday sailing or golf", Bill replied.
Some Christians soar in the sky like butterflies. Others live like caterpillars, or at least like they never emerged from their cocoon. Both face the same death of self in the cocoon, but the butterfly moves-on. A butterfly's tiny spindly legs are not designed for long distance marches, while a caterpellar is even less able to leap into the sky. Still, many Christian butterflies arduously inch from place-to-place, as though their freedom in Christ was only brightly colored, decorative wings, with no real function.
Christ gave his life on the cross, on behalf of mankind. Believers in Christ, like caterpillars locked in a cocoon, must pass through the shadow of the cross; marking the death of the old, sinful or carnal/ natural man. This passage must happen before one can live as the new, reborn Spiritual creature God intended. (II Cor. 5:17). The new, life in Christ is intended to be lived soaring in the freedom of the sky, not bound-up tightly in the cocoon .... as neither a caterpillar or a butterfly.
Christ paid an enormous price for our salvation at Calvary. In remembrance of that, Believers should be eager for Spiritual maturity, "not laying again, the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death" (Hebrews 6:2-3). Excuses that blame circumstances or ability for an unwillingness to be changed by a powerful, living God, cling to the cocoon of the world's flesh. "I am only human" directly contradicts, "I am a new creature in Christ; the old has gone, the new has come" (2 Cor. 5:17). Christians may sin, but they are still redeemed sinners in Christ!
Excessive testimony about "the old man I was", sometimes over-shadows the living truth of "the new creation in Christ, that I am". Is your testimony about what Christ did for you on the cross, or have you moved-on, like a butterfly, to what Christ is doing daily in your life. Caterpillars (or butterflies) locked in cocoons, continue to struggle longer and harder against sin and the flesh, than butterflies. The resurrection frees believers from bondage to the old life, just as a butterfly is freed from the cocoon.
An interesting parallel exists between the resurrections of Lazarus and Jesus. The burial clothes still had to be removed from Lazarus (John 11:24), while Jesus left his burial clothes lying intact in the tomb (John 20:6-7). Reborn believers in Christ, must put-off these remnants of the old, dead life and man, and be transformed by God's Spirit. Every Christian chooses to be transformed by faith and live as a butterfly, or to remain earthbound; conformed to the world and flesh. Christian thinking and lives are changed by the power of the living God in those who allow "the renewing of their minds".
Jenny wants to move ahead in fullness of faith, but, like many Christians, has church service and responsibility mixed-up with joy in the Lord. Let us move-ahead, renewing our minds and hearts to new, joyful, resurrected thinking. We are the children of God, reborn free by the cross and living free in the power of the resurrection! Let us not choose to hop around in our burial clothes, or like a butterfly seeking freedom from a still earthbound cocoon. "We are new creatures in Christ" (2 Cor 5:17), set free to live free! --- to soar like butterflies, beyond the pain and trials of the earth. (#221)