“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” – 2 Corinthians 4:16
We can never deny that the fact that we are getting older and deteriorating makes us worried and will get us into some anxiety attacks and episodes. As human as we are, we are stimulated through visual representation and we care so much about our physical appearance. Even Christians, we still feel insecurities and have problems with self-esteem.
The verse today will make us reflect on the things we are more focused on and on the things we are just taking away for granted. Through the verse, God wants to tell us that everything is not all about our physical appearance. There are Christians who are already old and have been feeling insecure because their bodies are deteriorating and saggy. There are also Christians who are still young but they thought that the standard of their beauty is found on the standard of men.
However, God wants us to understand that we should not lose heart because even if our outward man is wasting way, our inner man has been renewed everyday. Yesterday, we reflected on David’s prayer about him asking God to restore in him the joy of God’s salvation and a prayer for an everyday renewal. Now today, we are learning that God has already promised to renew us everyday. Though our outward man— our physical appearance, our physical well-being and our physical features are deteriorating and wasting away, we can confidently say that our inner man which is our spiritual, our mind and our emotions have been renewed everyday according to His purpose.
When Paul wrote this passage, he was showing to the people in Corinth that he is no superman. In fact, maybe when he was writing this, he was very old and his flesh was wasting away but he still wanted to encourage the people that even if he knew these trivial facts, he had the confidence to remain calm and to be so sure that he will one day recover from this. Paul was showing his faith to the people since he also wrote, “we are to live by faith and not by sight.”
However, why does this verse have anything to do with the lesson of living as Christ-like? Well, this verse can also be connected to the people who are not just old and wasting away, it is also connected to the people who are very concerned about their physical features. God wants us to understand that this flesh we are living in right now is not for forever but it is only temporary. This will eventually rot on the soil. He wants us to understand that physical attributes are not an issue because even Jesus, it is said in the book of Isaiah that you can’t find beauty in His physical appearance.
Therefore, it is not all about our outside features but is all about our inside features. Jesus is still called our beautiful Savior not because of His physical appearance but because of His inner features. He is the only person without sin, He is the Son of the living God, He is God, He is loving and He is very willing to sacrifice His life for us and that is why He is called beautiful. He is righteous; abounding in love; gracious and merciful.
So, it is really not about our outer man but it is about our inner man. God will see us beautiful if we are living our life holy and pleasing to His eyes. Again, we can never do this, we can never be beautiful in His eyes by our own accord but only through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus’ radiance is too broad and it can even reflect on us, so through Him we can also be beautiful in God’s eyes. Christ’s radiance resonates to our whole being, making us pleasing and righteous to the eyes of God.
Thus, even if our outer man is wasting away, we should not lose heart because God made sure that our inner man is being renewed everyday through the work of the Holy Spirit inside us in Christ Jesus our Lord. God promised to renew us everyday, for we are His people. We believe and have faith in His work on the cross. We are not living by sight but only through faith in Him.
Therefore, let us not dwell so much on our outer man but instead, let us focus on the renewal of our inner man everyday. How can we do this? By meditating on God’s Word because through this, the Holy Spirit will work on us as we put our faith, our hope, our future and our life in the grace and mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May we not forget this reflection and may we always hold on into this as long as we live in this temporary and cruel world.
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