1999-08-09 - I May be Schizophrenic, But at Least I Have Each Other
Colossians 3:9,10 Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him.
According to a state report, at least 2/3 of the psychiatrists at one Pennsylvania mental hospital were seriously mentally ill themselves. Citing lower salaries than those offered to psychiatrists in neighboring states, a state official explained, "In some cases, it's either a psychiatrist with emotional problems or no psychiatrist at all."
If you are a Christian, and I hope you are, you have one of the leading qualifications (apparently) needed to practice psychiatry in Pennsylvania. You are schizophrenic. You have this old self, who you are putting away, and this new self, who is being renewed daily according to God's image.
Do you know what it is to be an image bearer of God? I doubt any of us really do, but it is certainly more significant than we could ever imagine. Man (and I am not being gender specific here, but using man in the common inclusive way that understands man to mean mankind in general) is the bright representation of all God's perfections (Hebrews 1:3). Man resembles God in the spiritual and immortal nature of his soul. We resemble God in our role of having dominion over the creatures (Genesis 1:26,27).
We are born in the image of Adam; as we are in our natural form, and in our rebellion against God, Genesis 5:3. We bear the image of Christ in our inner man and are renewed in it when our nature is changed and we are made like God in spiritual knowledge, righteousness, holiness, and other graces, 1 Corinthians 15:49, Colossians 3:10. This is the image that is being renewed.
There are, as it were, two parties at war within us. We have the old man who is being transformed by God into a new man who is becoming more and more like the image of Christ. If you follow Christ, this is what is going on in you. You are, in some manner, a schizoid. And if you are honest, you know that some days one of the two men (the old or the new) wins the day. The Christian life is the process of growing in our faith to the extent that the new man that is in Christ wins more and more days, and more and more hours of each day. May God's gracious favor be upon us that we might more and more live each hour of each day in the new man that we are.
"It is wonderful to see how the little events of our daily life tend to our sanctification, though we know it not at the time. Every week seems so like the other! But you know when the sculptor begins his work, he strikes great pieces off the block. Every stroke tells visibly. But, when the statue is nearly finished, he takes the fine chisel, and strikes off but a little dust at a time. You scarcely see the effects of the blow; yet, then it is directed with most art and skill, then the work is nearly done." From Doing and Suffering
Soli Deo Gloria,