I’m sitting here looking at a bonsai elm tree. I realize bonsaiing is an ancient art that produces some beautiful plants, but I could not help myself from feeling sorry for this tiny elm tree. It was supposed to be 50 feet tall and make shade for weary travelers. But here it was stunted and gnarled. It reminded me of bonsaied Christians who never grew into the giants God planned for them.
The world is full of bonsaied Christians who have never experienced the joy of salvation because they are so focused on self-perfection at the expense of understanding while they are growing they are covered by Christ’s perfection. They have never been taught or worse have been taught the opposite. They don’t know that salvation is a gift that begins the moment they give their hearts to Jesus. The perfection that is necessary for salvation is and always will belong to Jesus. They never understand God is a good parent. Good parents don’t expect their 18 month old child to drive a car. God knows what we can and cannot do and He has no expectations of us to be something far beyond our developmental stage. I am an old man who has been a friend of Jesus for seven decades. His expectations for me are so much more than for a twenty year old. But sometimes when I morally act like a twenty year old He is disappointed with me but certainly doesn’t throw me out of His family.
Certain churches and specific pastors unknowingly bonsai their members. Fortunately we are not saved by knowledge and so millions of bonsaied Christians will someday understand. They will be freed to grow into everything God wants for them.
Written by Roger Bothwell on October 8, 2015
Spring of Life, PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574