You can’t teach yourself innocence {Awesome guest post by Tyler Braun}

Aug 24, 2012Heal from the past

I’m thrilled to have Tyler Braun from Portland, Oregon. He’s just released his first book! {Hooray Tyler} Here it is below, Why Holiness Matters.

You can follow him on Twitter or Facebook. I love this post, and I have a feeling it will bless you today.

You Can’t Teach Yourself Innocence

As authenticity became a common goal for churches we started to teach ourselves that innocence had no place in the spiritual life. What began as a pursuit for cultural relevance led to a dabbling with sin under the guise of “gaining life experience.”

In the youth group at my large childhood church home, innocence was a bit of a social death sentence. Innocent kids were either the punch line of many jokes or taken advantage of because they didn’t know any better.

In Christian culture today where authenticity is so highly valued, many seem to walk around with pride about their lack of innocence. We talk openly about all we did before God changed the desires of our hearts. This pride over our pasts is often an act of faux-humility where we give credit to God but secretly pat ourselves on the back for having a better testimony than the others.

Lost in all this is the hard truth of what losing our innocence does to our relationship with God.

It is impossible to unlearn the past. Guard your innocence like you guard your life.

I wonder if we haven’t considered the repercussions of our loss of innocence enough. By losing it, we are clearly giving something up. But what is it? I’ll take a stab at the answer…

The innocence lost through life begins to dictate how we engage our relationship with God and we begin to seek Him with an agenda and an expectation that He will fail us just like we failed Him.
Jesus often put a strong emphasis on childlike faith during his teaching to the disciples:

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Mark 10:14-15).

Most kids I know don’t have all the baggage adults carry with them when it comes to relationships. Just about every adult enters cautiously into new relationships and communities because of their own self-inflicted scars from the past. Inevitably this begins to affect how they pursue God. But children, they pray to God with an unencumbered joy, knowing He will answer.

Those of us with an innocence lost know that God rarely answers our prayers on our time. We’ve each lived the pain of unanswered prayers.

What began as a sincere desire to “test the waters” of life has ended in a jaded perspective of the way God engages with us and loves us.

Authenticity and life experience are important, but when they replace the innocence of a childlike faith, I believe we’ve gotten our priorities flipped.

Our innocence lost is pushing us away from the abundant life God desires for us.

[Image: Topwalls <> ]