Posted by: minnow | July 23, 2008

God’s Do-Over

One of the most intimidating things a person who fancies to call herself a writer faces is a blank piece of paper. Anything splashed on that page transforms it even if later all of what is written initially, is scrapped. Over at Flower Dust Ann Jackson is in the last phases of editing her book, Mad Church Disease. Recently she posted some excerpts that may eventually be cut from the book. I recommend you check out her blog and the excerpts. Of course, much of what she initially wrote on the subject of leadership burnout within the Church has probably seen the chopping block whether by rewrites and do-overs she made during her first draft or through changes her editor has suggested. Either way, the cuts were accomplished in the name of “getting it right”.

Even if we are not authors we all have had experience with doing something over in order to “get it right”. Some of us have had lots of opportunities to do parts of our lives over. Others wish we could do all of life over. But what does God have to say about do-overs? Is He as hard on us as we are on ourselves?

For many of us our image of God is like the commercial depiction of Santa. He sits up in heaven with one list of all the things we have done that were naught and another list of all the things we have done that were nice. Everything we do or say is put on one side of the scale or the other and when we die which ever way the scale leans that is the ultimate list we end up on.

Sadly most of us treat most of our interactions with other people the same way. I like so-n-so because his nice list is longer. I don’t like what’s-her-name because her naughty list is longer. When we were little names went flying back and forth from one list to the other on a daily if not hourly basis. But just because we are big now does not mean we do not keep a list. Thankfully, God is not like Santa; He does not keep lists. He loves us plain and simple. He loves us so much He sent His Son. And Jesus loves us so much when He rose from the dead and returned to heaven He sent the Holy Spirit to be our guide. In fact, He loves us so much He encourages us to throw away our lists, like He did.

Being born again is sort of like a do-over except we do not have to do the doing. Jesus already did it. I do not know what others mean when they use the phrase “born again” but I mean knowing the reality of Jesus. When we know His love for us, His obedience to the Father to make a path for us, His witness on the earth that marks out the ways of the Kingdom then we are born again, then our minds can be renewed and our salvation can be walked out. The whole Old Testament is a testimony of God allowing man to try and do it over. With the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus we see God’s do-over.

We can still try to mark our own path and get through life a part from God. After all, God gave us the freedom to choose. But the do-overs are much harder on our own. Trying to edit our lives can be painful and messy and confusing. But that is a post for another day. For today, I chose to let God be God and accept His do-over, accomplished through His great love.

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Responses

  1. good post. Do you not know what born again means? I guess it can mean numerous things. To me the major things it manes are: Being spiritually born. Born in a new way – you were born in the flesh into this world on your birth-day but you are spiritually dead until Jesus comes into your heart and breathes eternal life into your Spirit. also I was born again – because I got a new heritage, a new story, a new family. I was adopted into Abraham’s line – into the favored people – born into God’s eternal family in heaven on the day I turned my heart to Jesus. The Bible says we’re a new creation — ‘born again’. I have to start my day – but I could go on and on about this 🙂

  2. Randi–I’m not trying to be rude but your comment and definition of being “born again” sounds like a denominational text book. What does being born again mean to YOU–experiencially? If we are going to be effective witnesses for Jesus the folks we talk to have to be able to tell that we know HIM not just ABOUT Him.


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