Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
- 2 Corinthians 5:17
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
- Philippians 2:5-11
I was watching one of my favorite television shows the other day. It was a rerun, but there is so much that I miss. It was a panel discussion where four pastors take questions that are mailed in, called in, whatever. The key being that the question may have been asked weeks before, and there is no one there for clarification. They answer the questions from the Bible. The moderator is a pastor too and may contribute.
One question was from a woman whose daughter had gotten pregnant. The daughter wanted to not only keep the child, but marry the father. The mother thought that to be a horrible idea. She then asked if she had a place to step in and give her opinion.
Of course, the panel was at a disadvantage. Were either the daughter or the boyfriend a believer? Was the boy abusive? And other questions were brought up, but the consensus was that she had a place to provide an opinion and that her opinion should be biblical.
They also had concerns about how the daughter had been raised. Were there mixed signals being sent? And one pastor asked if she had earned the trust of her daughter so that the advice would be considered?
That caused my mind to wander. The pastor went on to say that a parent cannot change the nature of the child. Only God could do that.
I thought of a story that I was told a long time ago. A man and his family went to a beautiful state park in Georgia, just south of Chattanooga, TN. He brought along some rock-climbing equipment. He wanted to boost the confidence of his sons. They hiked and found an interesting rock that was only five feet high. He rigged the ropes and made a harness. He rappelled off the rock slowly to show the boys how it was done. One boy was scared but he did it. The other boy did it under protest, telling his father that he hated his father with every breath. But his father was on belay. One tug and the rope would not slip. His father was standing at the base of the rock. One slip and the father would catch him. In fact, after two or three steps, the boy was close enough to the ground to simply let go and land on his feet. The boy had never been in danger, but the quest to boost the boy’s confidence had backfired.
The boy grew up to hate his father, thinking that he would have been a better father. And he never trusted his father. But it was obvious that in his nature, he had never trusted his father from the beginning.
So, the pastor saying whether the mother had earned the trust is like the nature of the child in the first place. The mother could have done everything right, but the child was convinced the mother was untrustworthy anyway. Just more questions that the panel of pastors were unable to answer.
I have missed connection with the people involved, so I do not know if God had ever changed the nature of the boy, but the father prayed for the boy, now a man, every day.
Sometimes you do everything that you can, but each person is responsible for their own choices.
And the only choice that matters in the next life is whether you surrender your will to God. In so doing, you are made a new creation, with a new nature. Sure, we still make mistakes, but our desires have changed along with our nature.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.
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