It’s a curious thing, the element of renewal. As I awoke this morning, I heard a bird outside singing a morning song. I immediately accepted it as his praise for a new day arriving. The night was slipping away with an impending dawn of a new day, a renewal.
Note from Kip…
They say ‘familiarity breeds contempt‘. I don’t really buy that. This idiom has been held up for generations as fact but it simply isn’t true.
Looking online for a definition of this phrase I found this definition, which suggests that it is a natural proverb, it reads.
Extensive knowledge of or close association with someone or something leads to a loss of respect for them or it.
Tell that to the songbird outside my window this morning. Is he not familiar with the dawn? Perhaps he sings in anger. I think not.
The couple in love that grows old together and established the quirks of the other as part of their daily window dressing. Without the other, they would be without a part of themselves as they have invested their lives in one another. Contemptuous? Really?
I’m constantly wearing something till it is ready to fall off of me, shirts, pants, shoes, and yes even my undergarments. I find them comfortable. They form to me and I to them, we have a history together.
So I can’t really blame ‘familiarity’ for being the cause of contempt.
Therefore there must be something else that causes us to grow weary of things over time and exposure. Perhaps it isn’t the presence of something but rather the lack of something that is that catalyst!
Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for his mercies never end.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness!
Lamentations 3:22-23 (CSB)
The bird this morning has the right idea. It seems there is an alternative to contempt due to exposure, renewal over time. The love growing in a relationship, the anticipation of a new day to sing once again, the refreshing feel of soft well-washed clothing to the skin. Each having its own renewal, refreshment.
Jesus spoke of refreshment as well.
Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks from this water will get thirsty again. But whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty again. In fact, the water I will give him will become a well of water springing up in him for eternal life.”
John 4:13-14 (CSB)
Likewise, our walk with Jesus is a constant renewal because we are in a continuous state of growth, becoming more like our standard, our Lord.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!
2 Corinthians 5:17 (CSB)
We still exist in this old familiar body but every day new mercies and grace are poured out on us, renewing this ‘new creation’ for another day of growth.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
Romans 12:1-2 (CSB)
Not a one-time event but a recurring imparting of grace for us that put a reserve of renewal. No longer conformed to this world but thriving in the renewal of our minds in the likeness of Christ Jesus.
This doesn’t get old, become stale, and tarnish with time. If we are obedient to the Spirits guidance, then each new day is truly new, it isn’t the same old grace we had the day before, the grace today is fresh.
The 23rd Psalm references still water for rest, but Jesus places His Spirit in us and from that springs up a well of living water which refreshes us constantly.
We’ve died to that old self and now we walk in the newness of a resurrected life!
Therefore we were buried with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in newness of life.
Romans 6:4 (CSB)
In Christ Jesus, we have acquired a new nature. We share in His ‘Divine Nature’. We are no longer slaves to the old nature when we have died with Christ and subsequently raised with Him.
By these he has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. The person who lacks these things is blind and shortsighted and has forgotten the cleansing from his past sins.
2 Peter 1:4-9 (CSB)
Constant renewal, every day, always. Fresh as a new morning. Never a focus of contempt and despair.
Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!
Familiarity void of anything else may indeed breed contempt. I don’t happen to believe that. I do know that embracing renewal, deprives contempt a place to drop anchor in our lives.
I also know that being fully yielded to Jesus transforms us into new creatures with His Devine Nature in us. Springs of Living Water flowing constantly and new mercies with every new day, there is no room for contempt, only renewal!