So much of our “theology” (and we all have “theology”!) is forged these days by hurts.
The Bible has been used as a club to beat us into conformity, so we reject its plenary authority.
Our need for mercy has been abused, so we latch onto a concept of grace that excludes the Lord’s occasional rebuke and discipline.
We have suffered from authoritarian leadership or a controlling church, so we become autonomous and discount the need for healthy, accountable community.
We realize that some pet doctrines were wrong, so we seek a purely existential Jesus and cringe at objective truth.
In doing so, we are reacting to hurts, wrongs and mistakes – rather than embracing life.
In our fellowships, we have found that wholeness and freedom comes from a two step process: We must fully expose our hurts to the Lord, and then explicitly offer to turn them – and the associated beliefs our hurts have caused us to hold about ourselves, the Lord and others – over to Him.
This involves confession, and often even forgiveness (both giving and receiving).
Only when we take possession of our hurts – by fully and transparently owning up to them as we expose them to the Lord – can we then release them to Jesus.
Sometimes, those hurts are rooted in wrongs committed against us, or in wrongs we have committed, and turning releasing those hurts to Him means also forgiving our offenders before God, or seeking and experiencing His forgiveness towards us.
When we are do this, we truly repent – because He then changes the way we think, believe and perceive by giving something wonderful in return – wholeness and freedom!
In that wholeness and freedom, we finally start to know His fulness and can embrace all that He’s provided for us to find authentic life in Him.
The choice is always ours.
Bondage or freedom?
Hurt or life?
Us and our “stuff”, or Christ and His magnificence?