*This post is edited and republished from its original date of June 30, 2015
The Beauty of Wood– The last few years have seen a movement to paint and distress furniture. This technique gives the piece a used and worn look that is appealing to many. Older homes have also had wood trim repainted several times over the course of many years, building up many layers. We sometimes forget what lies beneath and the beauty the natural wood finish possesses. Our lives are like this. During a life time of covering old finishes and hiding chipped paint surfaces we develop a multitude of layers that have locked away the true beauty that lies inside. Our hurts and pain are covered by another attempt to gloss over the dysfunction we refuse to deal with. It is a painstaking process, but through hard work and determination we can get back to what was originally a beautiful creation.
Cause and Effect– Why is it we speak of the spiritual principle of reaping and sowing, but we chose to selectively administer our belief in its context? Why do we say that if you sow financially you will be blessed in return: but think that if we sow destruction, a mere request for forgiveness wipes away the consequences? Why do we think we are above the natural and spiritual laws of God and nature? If you plant a crop, tend it and care for it, it will produce a harvest. That is a fact. Grace isn’t a “get out of jail free” card, and forgiveness doesn’t erase the harm our actions have created.
A Question of Atonement- Christ atoned for our sins by paying with His precious life for our eternal salvation, period. But must we atone for our sins?
:to make amends <atone for sins> Definition Websters
Sometimes we should, if our actions have been costly to another, we make amends. That means many things for many situations and we need to decipher what that looks like for each of us. Often we bristle against making amends, hiding behind grace as our out, amends can be made quickly, but can also be a lifetime in the making. Just do the right thing, which isn’t always the easy thing.
I’m All right, You’re All right– Not necessarily, there is a vast array of satisfaction and fulfillment we never even get a taste of because we become settled in a certain place. We are comfortable in how we’ve learned to cope with the challenges of life. We know it’s not what it could be, but two thoughts may be at odds with change.
- One is that we don’t even have a concept of what we are and how it affects those around us. Our short tempers and matter of fact judgements are part of us and everyone knows it. People learn to adapt to who we are, we don’t see our faults for the log in our eye.
- Two is we know that we are flawed but we also know the scope of what is needed for change is so utterly massive that we decide to stay just how we are. We realize our need but do nothing! We are afraid of the process because of what it may do to our reputation or how it will disturb our circle of influence and that in the end we may lose some things we think we need.
Facing Down The Problem- We cannot change significantly until we acknowledge our need. Personal experience has shown me something very valuable; When I was forced to strip away all the layers of paint, and understand that I had sown sinfully, there was a reaping that was to take place. I realized that even though I had been mercifully shown immeasurable grace, I still had work to do. In the wake of destruction I alone had caused, I was responsible to make amends. I am in that process. I have allowed my life to be stripped bare and have every molecule exposed for the renewing of my life unto righteousness. It is a daily and lifelong process, and in it I have found a pathway to joy that I never thought possible.
How is your journey going?