For the grace of God has appeared—Titus 2:11-12
For us men to truly, in our hearts, want to repent of our sins, repent of our screw-ups—for us to truly want to turn our backs on our old selves, on the self-indulgent men we’ve been—we’ve got to first trust that we can change, that we can become new men, if we do. I mean, we’ve been the way we are for a very long time, so it’s understandably hard to trust that there’s new life available, right here, right now—life that’s God-connected, God-filled, and God-honoring.
So . . . can we trust it? Well, yes and no. On our own, new life is not available, and it never will be. On our own, we’ll remain our old selves until we die. Though we might want to become better men, we’ll only become worse. That’s what’s behind Paul’s frustration: “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate” (Romans 7:15). To just “man up” sure sounds good, but it doesn’t work. We’ve all tried it. It’s never enough, not even close. But with God’s help we can become new men. With his help we can become his men. And he can’t wait to help. He’s wanted to for a very long time. He can’t wait to supply us with his superpower called grace: the divine empowerment to do right, to do what we, by ourselves, cannot.
Okay, so what do we do?
Jesus’ story is the greatest story the world has ever known. It’s the story of a father and son, working together, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to do massive, miraculous things. It’s your story too. Trust he can change you. Allow that trust to fuel your willingness to confess and repent and obey.