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Time to press the reset button

I recently asked the people at my church, ‘If you could reset something by pressing a button, what would it be?’ and they came up with a whole host of responses.

The interesting thing was many of the answers were to do with issues that appeared largely external, at least on the surface.

It’s as if we recognise that, before we can reset our internal ‘stuff’ and influence things externally, we need to go on a journey. One that requires courage, honesty, support and community.

In his book The Emotionally Healthy Leader, Peter Scazzero coined the phrase, ‘Jesus might be in your heart, but grandpa is in your bones!’

Basically, what he’s saying is that although the work of salvation might occur in an instant, it’s also a journey. Although we’ve moved from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light, our upbringing, early influences and experiences have nevertheless formed and hardwired us.

Jesus, however, came to set the captives free.

The power of the cross and His glorious resurrection invite us to step into the freedom and wholeness for which we were designed. But this often requires us to ‘unlearn’ some of our hardwired thoughts and responses before we can attain a Kingdom mindset.

Failing to do so would be foolish. Here are three ways which can help change the way we’ve been hardwired.

Reset one — becoming self-aware

Unless we understand the ‘why’ behind our thoughts, actions and beliefs, we cannot look at them objectively enough to consider change — particularly since change is often scary. We tend to rely on something that’s familiar because it feels safe, even when it isn’t.

Proverbs 4:7 tells us to ‘Get wisdom. Though it cost you all you have, get understanding.’ Self-reflection is costly, but when we do it holding the hand of Jesus, we do so enveloped in His love, grace and mercy.

Reset two — western theology

The second reset concerns theology. Now I don’t want to tell you what to believe. I am, however, inviting you look deeper into where our influences and beliefs come from. To do so, I want to consider two particularly influential Gospel perspectives.

The first could be described as the ‘Prosperity Gospel’. I’m not just talking about the idea that faith brings abundance, but a message which suggests that, when you give your life to Jesus, everything will go well!

The second significant Gospel perspective is one that only depicts people as sinners destined for hell — replacing the reality of God’s love, grace and mercy with the fear of a distant and angry Creator. Salvation becomes all about saving oneself and guaranteeing your place in heaven, and can create a ‘them and us’ attitude, where pride and judgement prevail.

Is it possible that, because two of the major figures in the Reformation — Calvin and Luther — both trained to be lawyers before experiencing the call to ministry, there’s a tendency to depict God as an angry judge, with Jesus in the dock, pleading on our behalf in a courtroom setting?

Reset three — God is love

The third reset comes when our understanding of love is challenged. Our faith is based on Jesus, the Son of God, taking our human failings to the cross; overcoming the power of the grave and destroying the temple curtain in the process. All barriers and distance to God are removed — replaced by an invitation to simply, ‘Come, follow me’.

A good understanding of the Trinity’s agape relationship helps us see the cross in a fresh light.

When we realise that ‘God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son’ (John 3:16) and that, rather than appeasing an angry father, Jesus and the Father are One (John 17:21-23), we see that God’s love redeems rather than modifies.

His love restores, it doesn’t diminish. It provides a safe place for us to do the self-exploration necessary to help facilitate healing and wholeness.

Life as a follower of Jesus isn’t always a bed of roses. There are mountains and valleys along the way. But the good news is that, even when we find ourselves in the valley, Jesus is with us.

Despite what it might feel like at times, we are never on our own. God’s presence is all around us — His very life force within us.

Genesis 2:7 tells us that when God formed man from the dust, He breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and the man became a living person. What an amazing reset!.


Be brave enough to face yourself. Get curious about the ‘why’ behind your ‘what’ when it comes to your thinking, acting and believing.

Allow the Holy Spirit to lead this self-exploration. Ask Him to reveal God’s love for you afresh. Get support from a trusted Christian friend if you need it.

In an age of increased awareness around the issues of trauma and its effects, we’d do well to heed the words of writer and Franciscan friar Richard Rohr, who suggests that, ‘If you don’t transform your pain, you will transmit it.’