Thursday, June 01, 2006

Divine Cooperative Program

Just got my e-newsletter from the Chrisitian Association for Psychological Studies. It included this Devotional Thought for the month.

From The Biblical Basis of Christian Counseling for People Helpers by Gary R. Collins, (2001) p. 234-235.

“Every counselor knows about word association tests in which people hear a word and are invited to respond with the first thought that comes to mind. When we hear “salt”, most of us respond with “pepper” (or maybe with “light” if we are familiar with Matthew 5:13-14). But how do you think most people would respond to the word holy? The Bible speaks often about our holy God and about holiness, but today the term arouses pictures of dour, joyless, irrelevant unattractive, “holier-than-thou” religion.

Holiness, however, is at the essence of Christian spirituality. The Israelites were instructed to be holy, because God is holy (Leviticus 11:45). Jesus expressed a similar idea when He instructed His followers to “be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:47)…These ideals cannot be attained fully in this life, but the serious biblical call to a devout and holy life is at the core of Christian spirituality… The call to holiness is difficult to apply in day-to-day living. Some of our counselees, like some of us, try repeatedly to be “good Christians,” but the failure rate is high and the resulting frustrations are common. Others may try a “let go and let God” approach…also leading to failure and disappointment. In contrast the Bible presents what might be called a “divine cooperative program” in which we take responsibility for becoming more Christlike and we trust continually ! that God will work within us to bring change.

Divine cooperative program? I'd prefer to drown myself (in the waters of my baptism).

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