19 February 2008

Putting Away the Things of Childhood- Letting Christ Define You

1 Corinthians 13:11 - When I was a child, I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.

In my last post I talked about the real damage that children face when they have a parent walk out on them. I thought about it all night- should I have posted it? Would someone reading my post think that I was excusing the children who had been abandoned from having to meet the standard of God's word? Nothing could be further from the truth.

My rotten childhood is not the cause of my sin. It is merely the context in which the content of my heart is revealed. Yes, by the world's standards I have every right to be angry, bitter and afraid. I am not measured by the world's standards. I am measured by God's.

There is no discounting that my hesitancy to trust people is well deserved. I have come by it honestly. However, being self-reliant and refusing to ask for help when I need it is evidence of my sinful pride and nothing else. When I believed the world's standards for me, I was incapacitated with despair and grief over a lost childhood. My history simply gave a plausible excuse for my behavior.

One day Keith, a pastor whose blog you can find here, was talking to me and he said something that set me on the path to freedom. He said "The events that happened to you were terrible and your reaction to them is sinful and that is the part you can control." I didn't care much for Keith at that moment.
I wanted to be accommodated. I wanted his understanding. I wanted him to lower the bar of expectation and instead, he lowered the boom! Loving, gentle, confrontation- took me from the quicksand of self-pity and placed me on the Solid Rock.

Keith challenged me over a period of time. He suggested books for me to read, most of which I threw under the dresser in my bedroom. He began to rate a book's effectiveness by how far I launched it. He challenged my understanding of God's Word, and he put me in contact with a woman who had a similar horror story. The only difference between us being repentance. She had seen the sinfulness of her reaction to her past and I wanted to hang on to mine.

I am a different woman now. I wrestled with God and lost. Ahh! The sweet rest I have now knowing that nothing comes to me that doesn't pass first through His hands.
Job 5:7 For man is born for trouble, as sparks fly upward.
I no longer ask questions like, "why me, Lord?" The truth is, why not me? And as horrible as my childhood was, it wasn't all bad. Even if it was, the very worst life here is better than one second in hell. My past has shaped me but my God defines me.

Galatians 2:20
20 "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the {life} which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.

1 Corinthians 6:20
20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

1 Corinthians 7:23
23 You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men.

Titus 2:11-15
11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,
12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age,
13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus;
14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.
15 These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you.

Lamentations 3:31-40
31 For the Lord will not reject forever,
32 For if He causes grief, then He will have compassion according to His abundant lovingkindness.
33 For He does not afflict willingly, or grieve the sons of men.
34 To crush under His feet all the prisoners of the land,
35 To deprive a man of justice in the presence of the Most High,
36 To defraud a man in his lawsuit-- of these things the Lord does not approve.
37 Who is there who speaks and it comes to pass, unless the Lord has commanded {it}
38 {Is it} not from the mouth of the Most High that both good and ill go forth?
39 Why should {any} living mortal, or {any} man, offer complaint in view of his sins?
40 Let us examine and probe our ways, and let us return to the LORD.


KP said...

Dear Ro,

I remember our book rating system well. Who would have thought then that one or two of your best-pitched titles would someday find their way onto a list of favorites that you'd recommend to others?

Your kind words of appreciation bless me. I'm overjoyed that by the Lord's grace I was one of the instruments he used to lead you into the path of freedom and that you are leading others to that same path. I'm thrilled to read that last line of your post - what a true and beautiful affirmation.

God bless you and your ministry, my friend.


rosemarie said...

Good to have you back at your blog, Keith. Thanks for dropping by and adding kind words... who but God would have ever thunk it, huh? I do appreciate you too, Mr Resource!