Made better than new (religion)

Published 10:25 am Friday, April 15, 2016

By Jason Green

A friend of mine really enjoys restoring old cars. Frequently he brings in an old vehicle of some sort and begins working to bring it back to life.

He always has one object in mind: “I want to make it better than new,” he says. “I don’t want it to be as good as new, or as good as it used to be. I want it to be better than new.”



Something better than new is a bit of a foreign thought to a lot of people. It stands to reason with modern technology and products anything you restore, by nature, should be better than the original.

There are a lot of people who have taken their current body, experienced terrible things and done terrible things in it and to it. Their decisions have left them broken, feeling hopeless and helpless. There are people who want to be better, but they know there must be a more significant change than just getting better. Better is good but doesn’t solve their greatest problem. More than better is required to pull them from where they are spiritually, emotionally and physically.

I’m preparing to preach a series of messages based out of the book of Hosea. The nation of Israel had a problem. They’d started out proudly as God’s Chosen People – a title God gave them. They were delivered from slavery, offered a promised land, given great leadership and able to clearly hear from God daily. For some reason, they consistently chose to do what appealed to them in the moment, making decisions based on their feeling then instead of thinking about long-term consequences. It’s called selfishness and carelessness. They, like some of us, found themselves broken and without direction—even losing hope.

Their choices added up to a very displeased God. Certainly God was displeased about being ignored. He was displeased by their selfish decision-making. Israel in this scripture is portrayed as a prostitute who continually steps away from a faithful husband in order to satisfy her desire. But her husband is continually compelled to go after the woman even though he has been hurt by her decisions and unfaithfulness. That’s what God does when we let Him.

God’s greatest disappointment was when people whom He loved passionately experienced the awful results of their self-driven decisions instead of following Him. It breaks God’s heart to see us broken.

Very few people will ever thoughtfully choose to ignore God – sometimes it just happens. And when it does happen, it generally begins an avalanche effect. We get swept far away it seems from God because of constantly choosing poorly.

Let me leave you with this encouragement from the book of Hosea.

Hosea 6:1-3 says this: “Come let us return to the Lord; for He has torn us, that He may heal us; He has struck us down, and He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up that we may live before Him. Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; His going out is as sure as the dawn; He will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.”

We’ve experienced a life outside of His control. He invites us to choose Him and faithfulness to find a new life – one of growth, health, and life. That’s quite an upgrade. That’s what God, through Christ, does. Let the master do His work to make you better than new. He’s willing. Are you?

The Rev. Jason Green is pastor of Mineral Springs Baptist Church. Look for future installments of his column at