Holiness: Open to God
Lots of people admire Jesus. Even those who aren’t Christians often consider him a model for how human beings should treat each other.
Last time we talked about skills that help us become more like Jesus. So why doesn’t everyone practice those skills? Why do we ourselves often do the opposite of what Jesus wants us to do?
Because we have a wound in our spirit.
Remember that our spirit is the part of us that is watches over of our soul: our thoughts, feelings, and desires. You can think of it like a muscle. The more we use it, the stronger it gets. Sometimes we call it willpower.
But what happens when you hurt your leg? You limp, because you don’t want to use that muscle to stretch your leg. Sometimes you even use crutches for a little while, to avoid stressing that muscle.
That is what happened to our spirit. All of us, ever since Adam and Eve, have a wound somewhere in our spirit. When we try to “stretch” our spirit to change our soul in certain ways, it hurts. Really badly. We quickly learn never to try to change that part of us. Often we develop mental “crutches” to convince ourselves we don’t need to change. We learn to not even see the wound anymore, like the blind spot in our eyes.
That is why all of us often keep doing things that hurt other people. And ourselves.
This is one reason we go to church, read the Bible, and pray: so God can show us our blind spots. And sometimes parents, pastors, and therapists can help heal those wounds. But other times, the wounds are too deep for any human to heal.
That is why we need God’s Spirit, often called the Holy Spirit. He shows us our blind spots and heals our spirits so we can continue growing up. This is what heaven feels like: becoming fully ourselves as we become more like Jesus.
And hell is the opposite. If we rely on our crutches instead of Jesus, the wound will grow like a cancer until it consumes our spirit.
Baptism is like making an appointment to see the doctor because we realize we are seriously injured. We don’t know exactly what is wrong, or what the doctor will tell us to do. But we know we need help, and trust him to heal us. So we go prepared to obey him, because we recognize that is the only way we will get better.
Are you ready to obey Jesus that way?