Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:17-18
My friends who are adept with a bow and arrow tell me there are two ways to hit the bull's eye.
The first way is to shoot your arrow and then, very quickly, run to wherever your arrow has landed and paint a target, which features your arrow at the center. The second way is to practice until your aim is such that when the arrow is unleashed it goes to the heart of the target.
Apparently, that difference is not well understood by the current leaders of the 103-year-old Brownies and Guides of Great Britain. The equivalent of our Girl Scouts, the oath of that organization was "On my honour, I promise that I will do my best to do my duty to God and to the Queen, to help other people and to keep the Scout law."
Now that pledge has been changed.
Although the commitment to the Queen is left intact, the promise to the Lord is out. Instead of doing "my duty to God," the new oath says I will "be true to myself" and "develop my beliefs." Forget about pleasing God, just please yourself; all you need do is draw a target around your arrow.
Am I exaggerating? Not at all. Gill Slocombe, the Chief Guide said, "... it is fantastic that our members have come up with a promise that they feel they can confidently say and feel that they can keep."
It is my hope the Christian church doesn't walk their path.
Indeed, I don't know how we could. All of Scripture tells us that humanity is a pretty pitiful thing, and our hearts incline toward evil. On our own we are lost, condemned and damned.
Thankfully, we have a Lord who was not content to leave us on our own.
So we might be changed, our Heavenly Father sent His only Son into this world to take our place. Jesus spent His entire life living, suffering and dying so that we might, in Him, be washed of our sins and become a new creation.
With faith in Jesus we are able to see the poor souls we once had been and give thanks for the forgiven souls Jesus has made us. Because of faith in the Redeemer we are free to glorify and thank the Lord with a new standard of living, speaking and thinking.
In short, the Lord gave us a target to shoot at.
That's what St. Paul said when he wrote, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, as a sinner, I was never able to see or hit Your target of perfection. I give thanks Jesus did what I could not do. Now that I am saved, may I live as He would wish and hit the target that pleases You. In His Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries