Our raw material - Hope 103.2

Our raw material

By David ReayMonday 2 Feb 2015LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Jeremiah 31:29-30

29 “In those days people will no longer say,

            ‘The parents have eaten sour grapes,

               and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’

30 Instead,everyone will die for their own sin; whoever eats sour grapes-their own teeth will be set on edge. (NIV)

We are the products of those who loved us and who failed to love us. Our present lives have been shaped by the past wisdom of others and the past folly of others. This has left some people in better shape than others. And so we rightly make due allowances for people’s backgrounds when assessing their way of life.

It is part of adult maturity that we own our raw material. We acknowledge how our past has shaped us. We recognise the dimensions of our parenting,our genes,our life opportunities. Yet in doing so we avoid a couple of mistakes.

One is to fatalistically surrender to it all. “I am damaged goods,and that defines me.” The other is to relinquish responsibility for ourselves. “I am who I am because of others so don’t blame me for who I am.”

It is this latter response that is rebuked by our text today. Sure,our parents,our genes,our environment shape us. But that does not remove our need to live responsibly,does not remove our accountability for our present actions. I am affected by what has happened to me in the past,but my life is not predetermined by it.

One of our key struggles in Christian living is to accept who we are and how we got to where we are. And then to seek God’s help in carving out a fresh future,influenced by our past but not controlled by it. We become fashioned by God into his new material by first owning our own raw material.

David Reay

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