Monday, April 25, 2011
A Changing Perspective
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” - Matt 22:37-40 (NIV)
I was meeting with a couple of my accountability partners the other morning and in our discussion the verse above was shared; along with the thought that our responsibility is to love God with all that we have and to express that love to others around us in this very moment. In addition, that while we normally look at our lives from the past to present, seeing our lives through the lens of our past sin and failures, however, God, through the work of Jesus on the Christ, looks at our lives through the lens of our future in Christ to present.
As I sat there and thought about this, I found that my view of the commandments of God have begun to transform. This transforming is similar to way that I have come to see the Guidelines that we use in our Open Shares and Step Studies. When I first started in Celebrate Recovery and I encountered the Guidelines, honestly I felt they were restricting from what I have always experienced in Christian small groups. I felt like I was been regulated, confined and being forced to conform.
Honestly, the Commandments of God have always had the same effect on me. While I have come to believe in the importance of them and do what I can to follow them, they have always seemed to promote the idea of God as a “Cosmic Cop” waiting to bust me for doing something wrong in my mind. While I know this view of God is a lie I have bought into and stems from the years of my own dysfunction and fed by my issues, I have been struggling well to have a view of God that is more in line with the character that he reveal of Himself in the Bible.
Today I view the Guidelines of CR not has a restriction, but as freeing. I see that what they do is to allow a freedom to share in Open Share or Step Study in a safe atmosphere. As I am able to expose hurts, habits and hang ups to the light of Christ in a safe grace field atmosphere, their power over me is diminished and healing begins to happen in my life. I have come to the place where I embrace the Guidelines and rely on them to help provide an atmosphere where God’s grace is experienced in my life at levels I have never known before.
So as I sat there the other morning discussing the two greatest Commandments, and contemplating the fact that God views me from my future in Christ to my present instead of from my past, it occurred to me that the Commandments like the Guidelines are there for the purpose of my freedom. Once more, it is not about me, but it is about God. It is about what He has done and is doing, not about what I have done or haven’t done. It is about His faithfulness not my faithlessness. I have never before now viewed the Commandments of God as freeing. When viewed from my future in Christ to my present, they no longer condemn me pushing me away from God as viewing my life from my past to present does, but instead they drive me to Him. They are there for my freedom! I can’t tell you how really foreign this perspective is for me. Really, the idea of God viewing me from my future to present begins to open up a whole side of His character I have not been able to see before.
Tim, Male Encourager Coach, Fellowship Bible CR NW Arkansas
For more information about One Day trainings or the CR Summit that goes into greater length on guidelines and how to enforce them etc. Or maybe you have questions about how to get into a CR near you. Contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 firstname.lastname@example.org