Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Terrible Twos

I have not studied child psychology, nor am I a pediatrician, but I am the mother of two children
and my experience has taught me that your two year old cherub can become a nightmare of emotion without warning.

"Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, 'My master is staying away a long time,' and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Matthew 24:45-51 NIV

A person accepts God's plan of salvation through the death and resurrection of his Son, Jesus, and just as a newborn baby, ecstasy follows as they are held fast by loving arms. The whole world looks and feels different, and that person knows true love for the very first time in their lives. This is not just the type of love the world offers - "If you look, act or think as I, I will love you" - but more akin to a motherly love - "I will love you no matter what."

Just as a baby is coddled, held close and cherished, the new Christian is the focus of the church and/or other Christians. Unfortunately, this period of being loved and cherished may pass quickly in some churches, and just as the baby grows to a toddler, the 'baby' Christian starts to mature. Some churches may begin the "Don't do that." phase of their training, and as a toddler who now hears one 'NO' after another, this period can instill anxiety, fear and depression in a new Christian. This most critical time may be when most Christians fall away from the church believing that Christian life is too hard to bear.

"Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. " Philippians 2:12-13 NIV

God's plan of salvation was always about his holiness - not yours. Just as he saved us by his plan of salvation, so too, he will work out your salvation under his plan. Do not succumb to men's idea of who you should be for only God knows your destiny and what you will need to learn before fulfilling that destiny.

As for the rest - "In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." I John 4:17-18 NIV

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