Don’t Confuse NEW with BETTER

Ferris Bueller once very wisely said, ““Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

For perspective, Ferris said this in 1986. That was the year the very first laptop computer was unveiled. And where are we today?

Again, for perspective, although the internet was invented about 50 years ago, almost 90% of all the data in the world was produced in the last two years.

To put it mildly, we have a lot of NEW. And it’s not just that we have a lot of NEW; it’s that the pace of the NEW is steadily increasing. While you might argue that this kind of advancement is good in many spheres, making life easier and more efficient for almost everyone, I think you would also have to acknowledge that both the amount and the pace of “new” has its drawbacks.

Take the broad and complex subject of artificial intelligence. No one knows what to do with this “new” thing and all its capabilities, but here it is nevertheless. Perhaps this is a moment for everyone to step back and remember that in many arenas, ability is not necessarily the same thing as helpfulness. To put it another way, just because we can doesn’t mean we should.

And while that principle is applicable in the scientific and technologic arena, it’s also something that we, as Christians, should grapple with. Because all of us – Christian or not – tend to confuse that which is new with that which is better.

We tend to think that just because something is the newest thing off the line it means it’s obviously better than what’s old. That’s problematic for Christians because we are people of “old things.” Think about it:

What do we do every Sunday?

We gather to sing songs, many of which are old. And even the ones that aren’t are filled not with new discoveries but old revelations. Then we listen to a book that is old. We are told things we have heard before. And we do it over and over again. Not new – old.

And it’s beautiful.

We do this because we believe in something called the immutability of God. Which is to say, God never changes. He is the same. The rock. The eternal one. The same yesterday, today, and forever.

And because God never changes, His Word never changes. We don’t get new chapters. Addendums. Corollaries. Amendments. He has said what He has said, once and for all. Not new, but old.

And it’s beautiful.

In fact, perhaps now, at such a time as this, when everything is new, and the pace at which things become old is steadily increasing, what we need most is not the next new innovation or gimmick or piece of tech. Because, let’s be honest, the pace of newness is actually what’s getting old. It’s absolutely exhausting trying to keep up with it all. And what is the balm that heals that wound? What is the medicine for the frenetic mind and heart? What is the remedy for the ceaseless pace of what’s around us?

The same thing it’s always been. It’s the old, old story of a Savior who came from glory and gave His life on Calvary to save a wretch like me.

There’s real, actual good news today, friend – and that good news is old news. The best kind.

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