Useful Bible Studies > 2 Corinthians Commentary > chapter 5

Changes of attitudes when a person becomes a Christian

2 Corinthians 5:16

Before we became Christians, our attitudes were different. Formerly, we dealt with people in a very different way. Perhaps we did not then realise that we were doing anything wrong. We believed that we were simply acting in a natural manner towards other people.

Perhaps we wanted to help other people, but without Godís help we were unable to have any real effect. Or perhaps we tried to make ourselves more important. We may have even tried to control other people. In other words, we used people who seemed weaker than us for our own benefit. If someone else became richer or more powerful than us, perhaps we became jealous of that person. When we saw an opportunity, perhaps we took unfair advantage of other people. We may have even thought that we had a right to behave like that. Other people would behave like that towards us, if we permitted it. That was what we thought.

For some of us, our thoughts became so wicked that we even tried to deal with Christ like that. Although he is Godís Son, we actually tried to control him for our own advantage. We wanted the benefits of religion without a right relationship with God. We wanted to benefit from Godís love, but not for him to deal with our evil deeds. We tried to come to God in our own way, and not in Godís way.

Now that we truly know God, we think about our former thoughts and attitudes with shock. We recognise that such ideas are completely evil*. Our desire now is to turn from such behaviour completely. It belonged to our former life; it has no proper place in the new life that God has given to us.

Now we desire to show true love to other people*. We want our lives to produce the attitudes that Godís Holy Spirit creates in us*. Towards God and towards Christ, we are humble. We want to do what God desires. We want to serve him loyally in all things. We have no desire for the proud, cruel and selfish attitudes which once seemed so important in our lives.

Next part: How a personís life can change completely (5:17)

 

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© 2016, Keith Simons.