When watching shows like The Block, or checking out a new house build, it's exciting to see all of the sustainable elements that get added - solar, gas, heat pumps, stone floors etc… It all looks lovely; seamlessly integrated, and great for the environment.
It can be tempting to want the same things for older houses. Over the past few years we've been retrofitting our house with different elements, and most recently we have switched our house to gas water heating. The difference to a new build is that our house is no longer particularly beautiful on the outside (note that it never really was). The inside is warm and dry and well ventilated, but on most of the exterior walls there are now pipes and pumps and control units sticking out.
The same is true of us as people, or whānau. It would be wonderful if we were a new build, but everything about our character has been retrofitted. While the Holy Spirit works in us to develop our hearts and change who we are; the outside - our lives - can look pretty messy. We may not know how to respond in certain familiar social settings, or we may not know what to do with our money now.
Jesus berated some for being like white-washed tombs - full of deadness, even though the outside is beautiful. Let's put up with a little ugliness, for the sake of pure hearts.
Thank you Lord for your example of living an upside-down life, and please give us the courage to do your work selflessly.