Many electronics and small home appliances that are returned to their manufacturers due to problems are worked with, tested, dusted off and sent back out for sale as “factory refurbished.”
Perhaps they are a reasonable deal, but I have always had a deep distrust of such “refurbished” items. Damaged or defective outer parts might be fixed, but what about the interior – the running of some of these items? It seems to me that a refurbished item just isn’t as trustworthy as one made new and made right.
Apparently, God follows that same line of reasoning with us. After all, I suppose it would be possible for a spiritually “malfunctioning” individual to be repaired, then sent back out into the world again, but God’s word seems to indicate that’s not a good idea. Jesus spoke a parable specifically relating to the wisdom of going with a new product:
“No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins—and the wine is destroyed, and so are the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins” (Mark 2:21-22).
God did not issue a refurbished or revised edition of His Covenant, but introduced a totally new one (Hebrews 8:13). In a similar manner, the One who originally formed the human mind prefers to renew our outlook completely rather than just to affect an attitude “adjustment” or “refurbishment” (Ephesians 4:23). He prefers totally remade characters, too: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). In fact, he calls us to “… put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:24).
Ultimately, we are told, God will establish new heavens and a new earth (Revelation 21:1-2), so it seems clear that He really prefers the new to the refurbished in every case. In fact, He says: “I am making everything new!” (Revelation 21:5).
If the One who has called us will remake everything in His quest for the renewed and perfected, shouldn’t we look at our own lives that way? God clearly does not call us to be refurbished – with just the outer visible problems fixed – but with no real remaking of the inner person we are. So it’s a question we can ask ourselves as we go further into this new year: Are we content with just being refurbished each day, or are we striving to be truly made new?