Some verses are troubling when God seems harsher than we would like him to be.
But sometimes I'm troubled by the verses that seem to promise more good than I experience. I'm prone to wonder "can this indeed be true?"
This is one of those: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here!" 2 Cor 5:17
If Christians really are new creations, why are there ugly church splits, bad arguments between fellow Christians, and superficial politeness labeled as close fellowship?
Here's the new perspective I'm coming to. Paul describes the new creation as having come because he's adopting God's eternal perspective. God sees now what he will make of our character when we are in unbroken communion with him and seeing him as he is. We don't see that now, we are still very much in progress, as long as this life lasts. He sees the end now, and views it as a done deal, even though we have a lot of "heres and nows" to get through before that comes.
Paul's detailed exhortations in all his epistles shows that he knows being Christlike in real life is not easy for us. He knows we don't attain godliness just closing our eyes and singing one more chorus of "Kum Ba Yah" or "Awesome God", or going to that one special conference where we finally "get it."