Monday, March 20, 2017

Pastor's Ponderings, March 20, 2017

Don’t Let People Define or Confine you

“A father and son are in a horrible car crash that kills the dad. The son is rushed to the hospital; just as he’s about to go under the knife, the surgeon says, “I can’t operate—that boy is my son! Explain.”  Most people do not guess that it is his mother.

This old riddle was featured in Rich Barlow’s January 2014 article in BU Today entitled BU Research: A Riddle Reveals Depth of Gender Bias. Dr. Deborah Belle, a College of Arts & Sciences psychology professor at Boston University, explained we have “gender schemas—generalizations that help us explain our complex world.” It seems obvious that many of us have other schemas as well such as racial bias, ethnicity preference, age preconceptions, or nationality favoritism that gives us a skewed view of the world. 

As limiting and prejudicial as those schemas can be, the evil one has tried to push other mental patterns that can prevent us from having the life that God wants us to have. The devil may push a constant thought that diabetes runs in your family so you are likely to get it.  But, God says that you are healed (Isaiah 53:5). Everyone in that family is crazy so no doubt that family member is going to have mental problems.  But, God says they have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). Most people in that neighborhood are criminals so we cannot visit that part of town. But, God says wherever you go; He will surround you with His angels (Psalm 91:11).

What schemas have you used that prevent you from seeing others as God sees them?  What limitations have you placed on yourself so that you cannot be all that God wants you to be? God says that all of His creation was very good (Genesis 1:31). When we are in Christ, we are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).  The Bible says we are not to dwell on the past, but He is making us brand new (Isaiah 43:18, 19).  We do not have to limit ourselves to this world’s categories because we have a renewed mind (Romans 12:2).  We don’t have to limit ourselves to how the world perceives us because we have been made the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).

When the world tries to box you up in one category or another and limit you to how they see you or even how you see yourself, we must remember that it does not matter our gender, race, ethnicity, age or nationality, God says that we are very good.

Isaiah 53:5
New International Version (NIV)
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

1 Corinthians 2:16
New International Version (NIV)
16 for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

Psalm 91:11
New International Version (NIV)
11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;

Genesis 1:31
New International Version (NIV)
31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

2 Corinthians 5:17
New International Version (NIV)
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

Isaiah 43:18, 19
New International Version (NIV)
18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

Romans 12:2
New International Version (NIV)
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

2 Corinthians 5:21
New International Version (NIV)
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

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