History Messed Me Up

GodReflection: It’s Jesus Friday

garyguarujaI read a recent Philip Yancey post on ageing.

Somewhat tongue-in-cheek, he shared a quote by Robert Baker an actor and writer. It seems to be a good way to begin:  “As I grow older, I care less and less what people think about me and more and more what God thinks of me.  I expect to be with him much longer than with you.”

His quote did bring a smile. However, the reality is I expect to spend eternity with both God and my fellow believers. I hope that is you.

Truth is that I do care what people think about me even though some do in fact disagree with me. That’s ok since I direct this post at myself as I reflect on the centrality of Jesus.

history2I find it disturbing to think of history’s impact on my belief system. I continue to discover that I’ve believed things from the past that are not true. I even find from time to time that my church tribe may hold wrong beliefs.

I am rather comfortable with that reality. I don’t recall the infallible accusation ever used to describe me. It certainly was never ascribed to any church in New Testament Scripture.

Why should it bother me to admit my church tribe—composed of us humans—is not perfect?

I love my church tribe.

history15My church tribe is like family. Like family, we aren’t exempt from misinformation and a weird notion or two. Like family, we aren’t exempt from dysfunctions.

Like family, my church tribe lives under the gushing grace of Jesus.

One assumption that gets my tribe into trouble is the widely held belief that we have no history.

A little less than 200 years ago, many of our tribal ancestors bought into “endorsed doctrine,” the erroneous claim of precise identity in practice with the first century believers in belief and doctrine. That is a wonderful aspiration it’s just not true.

What is true is the fact that two thousand years color that which my church tribe holds as sacred—some of which is wrong—and some of which is right. I hold that in common with my church tribe.

Like my church tribe, at the time of my birth I entered into the narrative of on-going history. Both history and reality of the present color my belief system.  The list of sins from my childhood church would look quite different from the sin list my church tribe might make today.

history10History continues to mess with my belief system.

However, I find there is good news.

I’ve centered in on Jesus that transcends history.

I believe at a deeper level than ever before in a God inspired Bible. I believe at a deeper level than ever before in the church as the body of Christ. I believe at a deeper level than ever before in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

I believe what God did for me through the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus is my greatest gift.

history12By my declaration of trust in Jesus as God’s Son who died in my place, God is now fine with me. I can do nothing else or understand additional information to gain His favor. I stand in the favor He extended to me when I called Him Father.

Any action on my part is growth action. Rather than worry that history messed with my belief system, I can spend my life letting the Spirit change my heart so that I might serve the Son and grow more in the likeness of the heart of the Holy.

It’s Jesus that overrides a messy history and by his grace continues to cover me even when I get it wrong.

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells – A GodReflection on History and Jesus.

Gary@Godreflection.org     www.MakeYourVisionGoViral.com


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