The talk show host introduced his next guest. A star I hadn’t seen for several years bounced from behind the curtain. “Is that really her?” I wondered, searching the perfect face for familiar characteristics. Modern surgical techniques had eliminated the details that once gave this woman’s face character, and in my view, beauty.
New teeth, cheeks, lips, chin, nose – and voila – a magnificent makeover! Every visible defect had been removed to produce what someone somewhere decided was perfection. “She looks like a computer-generated image,” I said, with a little jealousy because we’re the same age and she looks twenty years younger.
God is in the makeover business too, but He changes people from the inside out. The apostle Paul put it this way. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, He is a new creation; the old has gone the new has come.” (II Corinthians 5:17) Now, Paul wasn’t talking about removing double chins and erasing wrinkles. He was talking about a revolution in the core of man’s character. A total life-altering change.
When we choose to follow Christ, change begins. In the central part of us a holy surgeon begins a series of adjustments. Quietly, His gentle hand renews the mind, heals the heart, restores child-like hope, erases remorse and guilt, gives us power over addictions and changes some of our rigid opinions. There’s no voila! to God’s makeovers. We leave the earth still in need of much tweaking.
A good cosmetic surgeon can turn a plain Jane into a beauty but only Jesus can transform our character. Unlike the movie star’s high-priced surgeon, His services are free.