Chrome, Fins and Whitewall Tires

Last weekend while I was working in my yard a classic car drove by. As the car drove away I realized that it had immediately captured my attention and then I wondered why this was so. Then my thinking quickly turned to a more spiritual track. I think there is something here that is worth exploring and sharing so please stick with me.

As I thought through my encounter, I realized that there are at least a couple reasons why we often notice (and may even be attracted to) classic vehicles:

  1. They are different. Simply put, classic cars look, sound and feel very different from what we are used to seeing everyday. They have a distinct style and aesthetic...and different draws attention.

  2. They are rare. For a car to survive from the 1950s or 60s until today it either must be carefully preserved in the proper environment or it must be lovingly restored to it’s former glory by someone with patience, the right skills and often some new parts.

I think we have an inherent understanding of the value of “different” and “rare”, so let’s move on to explore how these traits apply to faith and Christianity. Uniqueness and rarity are both found in Romans 12:2 which says 

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
— Romans 12:2

The Greek word in Romans 12:2 that is translated in the NKJV “conformed” means ‘what strikes the senses.’ This means saints should not look, sound or act like everyone else. In a similar manner to how a cherry red, 1959 Cadillac stands out in a sea of grey Ford Fusions, Honda Civics and Chevy Silverados, believers are to be both different and rare. And those who are not conformed to this world, but rather transformed, will be both unique and rare.

Holy and Unique

Holiness is not the norm in 2017. Leviticus clearly states that God’s people are to be "holy" (see Leviticus 11:44, 19:2 and 20:26) or set apart for a sacred use. Christians that are fully set apart for God’s will live in stark contrast to natural people and do not consistently operate out of emotion, human knowledge, lust, greed or selfishness. Peter says it this way 

Therefore since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you.
— 1 Peter 4:1-4

Did you catch that? Gentiles, or the worldly find Christ-like actions strange — this behavior is a novelty to them! Sincere holiness is both unique and different. Holiness catches the world’s attention in a way that is beneficial to The Lord's current and future work.

Restored and Rare

Throughout life, most Christians do experience dings, scratches and failures just like most classic cars have. Thankfully The Lord values us and specializes in healing and restoring. God is willing to patiently invest the time and labor necessary to mend and repair lives just as people work to restore a classic car that has lost it’s luster.

To be clear, I’m not talking about exterior body work here (although I can make a case from Ephesians 6:1-3 that choosing to obey The Lord has physical benefits) — I’m speaking spiritually. Paul and Timothy say it succinctly —

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.
— 2 Corinthians 4:16

God's first choice isn't to scrap damaged humans, rather He prefers to renew, restore and transform lives. In the end, those who have life will forever be with The God who makes all things new (see Revelation 21:5).

Don't new and unique sound grand?!

How About You?

  • Are your words, deeds and life holy today or is there room for you to be further set apart (from the world) for God's use?

  • As you go through your week do you ‘turn heads’ because you live honestly, selflessly and sincerely?

  • Are you allowing God, The Master Restorer to renew and refresh your soul, spirit and mind so that your spiritual life is in pristine shape?

Additional Verses: Psalm 80:3, Psalm 85:4, Nahum 2:2, Mark 2:16-17, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Ephesians 4:20-32, Philippians 2:14-15, 1 Peter 1:13-16, 1 Peter 2:11-12 and Revelation 22:1-2.