Theme of the Week: You Are What You Do: Lies About Work, Life, and Love
Bible Verse: “To give them a crown of beauty instead of ashes.” Isaiah 61:3
Scripture Reading: Isaiah 61:1-3
What’s interesting about the past is that it’s not just made up of the things you’ve done. The things that others have done to you are often as important, if not more so, than the things you’ve done yourself.
What you do, what you experience, who you know, what you know, what you own, who you raise, and your past all hold a critical role in the way that you see yourself, but they are not the way to see yourself because they all come up short. They’re incomplete precisely because they’re half truths. This is why you can’t let any of these lies become the primary lens through which you view yourself – especially the lie that you are your past, because it holds the potential to disable or destroy your future.
Technically speaking, ashes are the opposite of life. They represent the end, not the beginning. They are evidence of irreversible death and destruction.
However, when you look at the way that the word is used in the Bible, ashes represent more than just death and destruction. In Isaiah 61:3, “to give them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,” seems to point to a deeper purpose for the ashes in our lives. It seems to suggest that ashes are not just a symbol of the past, but actually a path to the future. And instead of burying, scattering, or ignoring the ashes of your past, it seems to suggest that there’s another option – the option of offering your past to Someone who holds the power to redeem, restore, and transform the ashes of your past into a crown of beauty.
Excerpted with permission from You Are What You Do by Daniel Im. Copyright 2020, B&H Publishing Group.
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