This last weekend I had the opportunity to preach alongside our executive pastor at Westbrook (you can listen to the sermon here). We are in the middle of the Freeway series from People of the Second Chance, and Rob and I preached on taking the step of discovery. As we shared in our message, the point of discovery is facing our past in order to move forward.
For many of us, this is probably counterintuitive to what we have been taught and believe about becoming a Christian. We are “new creations” in Christ! Our former way of life is in the past. In one sense this is true. You have been freed from the power of sin and from what you were slave to in the past, but now you are also called to keep in step with the spirit. New life in Christ means that we have to learn to walk in the ways of Jesus through the Holy Spirit and not continue to walk in the ways of our culture or family. If you have listened to or watched Peter Scazzero, author of Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, you’ve probably heard him say, “Jesus may be in your heart, but grandpa is in your bones.”
No matter our past. No matter how good our bad our family and our past is, there are things inside of us that we need to uncover, discover, and process in order to truly walk with Jesus. In Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, Scazzero writes, “Discipleship requires putting off the sinful patterns of our family of origin and relearning how to do life God’s way in God’s family.” We are told that we have been set free, and we have, but the underlying is truth is we have to learn a new way of living in order to live as if we are free. I’m reminded of Morgan Freeman’s character in The Shawshank Redemption who even after leaving prison has to ask for permission to use the restroom. The habits of prison had been so deeply ingrained in him that even while free he still lives like he is in prison. He had not yet relearned the freedom that being out of prison afforded him.
Discipleship is a process of transformation and we need to examine ourselves to find those hurts and sins that need transformed. Like an iceberg, the majority of our self is below the surface. There’s a lot down there that we need to examine. If not we do not take the time to examine the deepest areas of our lives, we will have trouble learning to walk like & with Jesus because we will still be trying to walk like our former selves. Like I did on Sunday, I encourage you to make space for examination to work through discovering the ways that you are still acting like your former self and figure out the ways that you should be walking like Jesus.
￼  Peter Scazzero, Emotional Healthy Spirituality. (Thomas Nelson: Nashville, 2006) 95.