Saturday, January 15, 2005

Can I Get Here From There??

Sometimes reflection is a worthwhile thing.

From me, that is something of a concession, since I am very much a person who detests people gazing in fascination at their navels while the solution to their problems is at eye level. I know that most people know me to be a person of almost perpetual reflection, but that is a learned behavior. By nature I am somewhat impatient with reflection, at least reflection that has to do with myself.

There is a biblical passage that speaks to this: "Don't long for "the good old days," for you don't know whether they were any better than today." (Eccl. 7:10, NLT)Too much fascination with the past can lead you astray about where you are in the present, and can get you off course for your future.

But I think there are times when I need to reflect on the past just so I can have a proper perspective on it. I sometimes look at who and what I was in the past, before Jesus, and I am tempted to simply wash over the whole thing as a sorry example of sin and evil. I sometimes think that who I am now bears no resemblance to who I was.

To a point that is true. I do almost none of he bad things I used to, so there are a lot of ways in which my current life is discontiguous from my life before Christ. But there are a lot of positive things I do now that, people tell me, I have always done.

I suppose what I am saying is that it is easier for me to see that God has redeemed some of my worst traits, and replaced others wit positive traits, than it is for me to see how God has used what was already good in me.

See, I am a believer in Total Depravity. I believe that there is nothing about people that has not been touched and tainted by sin. Apart from Jesus, nothing we do is done for Godly reasons. Not even good things.

But that does not mean that everything we do is evil, or that everything about us is evil, certainly not ultimately so.

I believe that, I do. But its easier to believe that about other people than it is to believe it about myself. I guess I am still in the process of accepting God's forgiveness, and the righteous standing that goes with it.

I doubt I am alone among those here in having that issue. I know for a fact that I stand in good company on this bad problem. Paul the apostle called himself the worst of sinners. But I think I do need to have an adjustment in how I understand that perhaps. Read what Paul says for yourself, and you'll see what I mean I hope:

This is a true saying, and everyone should believe it: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners--and I was the worst of them all. But that is why God had mercy on me, so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life. (1Tim. 1:15,16, NLT)

1 comment:

whirligirl said...

remember also that who you were as a pre-christian has an enormous amount of influence on how you relate to people as a christian. without your earlier experiences and interactions, your personality would far less developed and your attitude toward others would contain far less understanding.