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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Burdens of History and Purposes of Salvation

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2 NIV).

Many of us can have the splendor of a monarch butterfly, yet cannot shake the shame of once being a worm. We want to deny our past experiences and hide them from ourselves and others. The past looms so large and is such a burden that it distorts our present life and burdens and enslaves us. It’s as if the monarch butterfly shriveled its wings and sought to stay hidden in the underbrush—being shamefully defeated not by what it is, but by what it once was.

This tendency in human behavior is what makes salvation so important. Reformation isn’t enough for our psyche; we also need forgiveness for what may in fact have been to some extent developmental and contextual necessities. This is especially true in regards to sexual behavior during the dawning years of one’s life. I have known, for example, a beautiful young woman in body, mind, and soul who allows the past to prevent her full commitment to a man she now loves.

Whether our past is indeed fault-worthy or not, it is essential for happiness and growth to come to terms with the past and not let our present and future be held hostage by it. We must move forward in the knowledge that the Creator knows all things and forgives all things in a desire to see His creation flourish. It must be excruciating for him to see His creation cowering over the past rather than fulfilling the promise of the future and the purposes for which He instilled life in the first place. God brought to man salvation, not only for man’s sake, but for His own fulfillment and happiness.

(My thanks to Angelo Lundy for metamorphosis metaphor.)

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