The I's Have It: Injury, Immaturity, and Ignorance

Each of us is a spirit being...with a a body.

When we die, our spirit/souls return to the Father. We will recognize others in Heaven with our intact memories, and continue to communicate through our distinct personalities (although thankfully, redeemed).

As Christians, we can all look forward to getting re-acquainted and enjoying each other as we were really supposed to be--finally freed from the damaging, hindering affects of the Fall!

Our bodies are important to God, too. Jesus has retained His human body and will remain in it forever! One day, He will reunite the faithful who have died with their original bodies--complete, perfect, and glorified.  Those who are alive on earth and in Christ at the time of His return will be instantly changed without having the shadow of death pass over them.

Before the fall, Adam's spirit was constantly connected to God and in charge, able to function without any of the sinful obstacles that we face today when trying to hear from God and obey.

In turn, his mind was open to receive God's intent from his spirit, and his emotions were free to line up appropriately. Adam was subsequently endowed with the corporal ability to full express God's will to creation.

However, after Adam made a deliberate decision independent from his source, he lost that divine, inward connection.

What took over to govern his 5 senses? His soulish realm--consisting of the mind, emotions and will--void of input from the Holy Spirit.

What has been ruling the descendants of Adam ever since? The mind, emotions, and will.

What unfortunately still dominates the lives of many Christians? The soulish realm! Although saved, these believers still live out of:

what I think...or the opinions of others (the mind that exalts itself against the knowledge "of" (not about) God; hence, His Word--2 Corinthians 10:5)

what I feel
(the emotions)

and MY will, 'the choice maker', (influenced by both the Adamic mind and emotions)

"If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk (make progress) in the Spirit." (Galatians 5:25)

Other translations use: "be guided by the Spirit", "keep in step with", and from the Weymouth--"let your conduct be governed by the Spirit".

This is an important truth for another reason: When others hurt or offend us, those fiery darts are launched out of the soulish realm--a regenerative work in process. Our own spiritual growth is frustrating enough, but we are continuously blessed or challenged by how others around us are growing, too.

No Christian submits as easily, frequently, or deeply to the conforming power of the Holy Spirit as he should. As a result, although all of God's kids are completely saved by grace, daily evidence of that Salvation will differ with each believer.

When other Christians hurt us or vice versa, it is due to one of three soulish dynamics that all start with an "I":

1) Injury (unaddressed wounds)
You've heard the expression: "Hurt people hurt people"

2) Immaturity (temper tantrums, sulking, does not like to be told "no", seeks own way)

3) Ignorance (has no interest in growing in the Word of the Lord and being discipled; yet, may appear as a "know it all")

Jesus restored the divine connection between God and mankind at Calvary; however, even as the people of God, we still must daily choose to present ourselves under the yoke of His Word and Spirit in order to harness our mind, emotions, and will.

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."
(Romans 12:1)

Ninety percent of the New Testament is not about how to be saved, but how to live the Christian life in a way that is pleasing to God and beneficial to others.

We are reminded many times of the dangers of an unrenewed mind, and the Holy Spirit tells us that it has to be restrained, retrained and fed from the Word of God...not from our previous, carnal sources.

We are told how to bring our emotions under the control of the Holy Spirit, and receive healing from past hurts so that we will learn to constrain ourselves from rash behavior.

These are processes that we will never get perfect in this life; yet, our lives should steadily demonstrate progress.

Let's settle it! Christianity is not about getting a place reserved in Heaven.

It is more about being conformed into the image of Jesus Christ in order to show a broken, hurting world the reality of God. Otherwise, we would have been whisked away into the "sweet by and by" the moment we said "yes" to Christ's saving grace!

We are to be His heart, His voice, His hands, His embrace. So, what kind of signals are our choices sending?

I often hear, 'but God understands."  Sure He does! 

For instance, a desire for companionship is a legitimate need. All the same, seeking to fill that longing in
illegitimate ways (contrary to God's Word) grieves Him. The Lord may certainly understand your need, but that doesn't mean He will ignore or automatically forgive the sinful way you chose to satisfy it unless you repent and amend your life accordingly.

It's not that we are supposed to have different feelings from unbelievers or be immune to hurt and pain. But Christians are equipped and therefore commanded to seize the grace that enables us, in our final choices, to respond
differently  from those who can only reach into their unfinished souls for solutions or attempted peace.

As we humbly put away our "childish ways" toward God and others (1 Corinthians 13:11),  perhaps a watching world will be compelled to take a second look at the faith we so readily profess.

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