What is treasure? Is it gold, cash, platinum, diamonds or something else? And what makes anything a treasure? The previous post was the beginning discussion about the tragedy that is anyone’s past. Our failures live in the past. And one key to unlocking the treasure puzzle is to learn from the past (see opening post). That’s easier said than done. The bad news is: Barriers stand in our way. The good news is: They can be overcome!
Treasure is that which one deems valuable. And valuable things are routinely protected. We protect our treasures with:
- Secrecy (money in the mattress – buried cash/coins)
- Safes (pirate’s chest, safety deposit box, etc.)
- Encryption (today’s treasures accessed electronically)
The key to these things is knowledge. One must know the location of buried/hidden treasure. If a key is needed, on must know its location. We might need to know a combination to a lock. And then there’s the common problem of remembering the password! Who hasn’t been frustrated by that? And some of the most difficult things to find are those that are hidden in plain site. Even so, knowledge is still the key.
Turning our tragedies into lasting treasure is a task unique to believers. And we are often our own worst enemy! One of the greatest barriers to this process is often looking back at us from the mirror. The keys we need are ‘hidden’ in plain sight. So we need to find them, know them, and apply them. That will open valuable treasures to ourselves and others. And that is how we address what I have called the Christian Identity Crisis.
First, believers are new creations. Paul stated that plainly in 2 Corinthians 5:17. Two things jump out at us from that verse. Number one, we are new. That tells us there was something old. Number two, new creations are in Christ (God, the Son). In other words, there is a God, and we are not Him. We are in Him but at the same time different and distinct. All that seems to be obvious. But don’t be fooled. It’s a valuable key hidden in plain site!
We have experienced tragic failures. That is something our Father has never experienced…(pause…sink in). And He deals with our failures (our past) in a way we cannot. Notice:
- Micah 7:19 (Heaven’s NO FISHING sign floats here!)
- Psalm 103:12 (An infinite distance)
- Isaiah 53:6 (Christ took what was ours)
- Isaiah 43:25 (Divine forgetfulness)
- Hebrews 10:14-18 (Forgetting confirmed)
We can and should celebrate God’s divine ability to forget that which He has forgiven. But as we saw above, we are His but different from Him. We have no such ability to forget. We remember the old stuff about ourselves. And this is a big barrier to turning our tragedies into treasure then triumph. And it is the basis of the Christian Identity Crisis.
A chapter in the life of our family provides a perfect illustration. I’ve shared this several times over the years. This will be today’s wrap-up. It starts with lines every parent has heard:
Dad, Mom! Can we keep her? Can we keep her? Huh? Please, can we keep her?
The ‘her’ in question was a puppy. The time was July 4th. And the date contributed to the name of this this little (for the moment) Lab puppy. Her ‘full’ name was Liberty. But that quickly became Libby. But her story would have no illustrative value if it weren’t for the dog we already had, Muttley.
Muttley was one of my wife’s many rescue projects. We got him from the pound. It was obvious he had been abused and it was fun to see him overcome that. Muttley looked like the TV dog Benji. And yes, his name came from the cartoon strip with Dick Dastardly and his sidekick dog, Muttley.
So you know Muttley was not a big dog. He might have weighed 12 pounds on the best day of his life. But when Libby joined our family, Muttley was the big dog. She was a puppy. And even when she weighed 80 pounds her view of him never changed. If he growled, she ran. When Muttley went somewhere Libby followed close behind. He always ate first. She stood back. He would eat a little bit. Then she would scarf up everything. The fact was, she could have scarfed him up. But HE was the BIG DOG…in her mind.
We don’t want to admit it, but we suffer from Libby’s problem. We can’t forget our failures. Our enemy uses them to accuse us (see Revelation 12:10). We remember the old person who existed before we were made new. But good news exists! There are keys to solving this problem. The problem is, they are in plain site. We’ll take a look in the next post!
Soli Deo Gloria!