By Christine Caine
Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. – Matthew 7:17–18
My life before I became a Christian made me a perfect candidate for the Jerry Springer show. I was adopted at birth and was abused in my past, which, needless to say, left me feelings of rejection, betrayal, shame, guilt, and fear. Obviously, I had accumulated baggage over the years, but when I became a Christian, I had no idea I needed to deal with it. I embraced my new life with passion and enthusiasm, choosing to forget those things that were behind me, and pressing forward to those things that were ahead (see Phil. 3:13). I was not trying to deny my past, rather I sincerely believed that because I was in Christ, I was a new creation—the old had gone and the new had come (see 2 Cor. 5:17). What I did not realize was that this scripture spoke of my new spiritual condition, not about the condition of my soul. The damage and weaknesses that were in my soul realm before I became a Christian lingered after I made the decision to get my life right with God
I learned that being made whole is a process, and if we try to bypass this process, we will remain weak at the core. As a result, eventually all areas of our lives will begin to deteriorate. The walls I had built around my life to protect myself were a clear indication of my unresolved issues. I would not allow people to know me too intimately so that I could ensure I would never be hurt again. I was so fearful of not being in control of my circumstances that I demanded control of everything and everyone in my life. Determined to never be rejected again, I was a perfectionist and had no tolerance for mistakes or failure. I was often impatient and harsh and thought that if I could just keep succeeding; everyone would need me and want me.
With all of this turmoil in my soul, it is no wonder my life began to unravel. But God wanted me to find freedom. He showed me that although I was born again and Spirit filled, my soul muscle was so emaciated, weak, and small that there was little room for the Holy Spirit and his fruit to flow. I had to not only allow God to heal my wounds and strengthen my weaknesses but also to make the choice to develop maturity in order to walk in freedom.
Point to Ponder
Is your soul weighted down with baggage from your past? God wants you to find freedom. He wants to strengthen your soul muscle so that you can walk fully healed into the life and calling he has planned for you.
Devotional forwarded to you by:
UP CHRISTIAN YOUTH MOVEMENT
NCCP Ecumenical Ministry – Church of the Risen Lord
University of the Philippines, Diliman Campus, QC