By four years of age, children have absorbed millions of bits of information telling them about the world and their place in it. Dr. James Dobson, of ‘Focus on the Family,’ has stated that children are the best receivers of information and the worst interpreters of information. Therefore, all those messages have been stockpiled in their brains and in their hearts to the best of their ability. Along with this accumulated ‘wisdom’ comes pesky, disheartening, evidence of a sin-tainted nature. To that point, what parents have had to teach their children to disobey? Or how many times does the average parent find themselves saying, ‘What do you say?’ to elicit the sought after, ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you?’

Admittedly, some of the misunderstood information gets clarified in the ensuing years. But other pieces of data remain as vague perceptions, unspoken ‘realities,’ and subconsciously filed away as truths. And these may continue solidly in place for years, sometimes into adulthood, negatively impacting relationships. 

Throughout childhood we learn about the importance of promises and the importance of refraining from promising something that is beyond one’s control or beyond one’s abilities. We also learn from the sting of broken promises (ours and others’). Wedding vows traditionally contain some version of the promise: ‘forsaking all others, keep me only unto thee so long as we both shall live.’ This is one of the biggest promises of a lifetime and it is broken with devastating ripple effects, causing immeasurable heartache and suffering. (I think this is why God hates divorce). After enduring multiple broken promises, both big and small, our self-protection kicks in, seeking to protect us from further pain. We become jaded.

At some later point we encounter the beautiful promises of God but find ourselves wary of truly trusting them to be reliable. We can read them and hear them and repeat them, but not let down our guard, not fully submit to them, not dare to allow them to produce the peace within us that they contain. We ‘need’ them desperately but are fearful of the consequences of yet another broken promise.

This is where the Good News is revealed as powerfully good. The Holy Spirit is with us to inspire us beyond our limits and cause a crack in our wall of defense just big enough for the light to seep through. He is the fruit of Pentecost, the Believer stronger than our un-believer, the conquering Joy of Heaven overwhelming the wounding in our soul with healing that can’t be denied. He is the Holy Spirit of God, the Gift to end all gifts, the Friend now closer than a brother – Jesus’ unfailing, beyond spectacular, promise to all who are his. We are they, y’all!  PD

Share This