Devotion #11: What is it that changes us? Willpower vs. Affection


“How do I explain?” he mused…. “It took everything I had not to jump up in the middle of that class full of children [the day that we met] and—” He stopped abruptly, looking away. “When you walked past me, I could have ruined everything Carlisle has built for us, right then and there. If I hadn’t been denying my thirst for the last, well, too many years, I wouldn’t have been able to stop myself.” He paused, scowling at the trees….

“To me, it was like you were some kind of demon, summoned straight from my own personal hell to ruin me. The fragrance coming off your skin…I thought it would make me deranged that first day. In that one hour, I thought of a hundred different ways to lure you from the room with me, to get you alone. And I fought them each back, thinking of my family, what I could do to them. I had to run out, to get away before I could speak the words that would make you follow….And then, as I tried to arrange my schedule in a pointless attempt to avoid you, you were there—in that close, warm little roomm the scent was maddening….But I resisted. I don’t know how. I forced myself not to wait for you, not to follow you from the school.”

“Of course, then you were nearly crushed to death in front of my eyes. Later I thought of a perfectly good excuse for why I acted at that moment—because if I hadn’t saved you, if your blood had been spilled there in front of me, I don’t think I could have stopped myself from exposing us for what we are. But I only thought of that excuse later. At the time, all I could think was, ‘Not her.””
“And for all that,” he continued. “I’d have fared better if I had exposed us all at that first moment, than if now, here—with no witnesses and nothing to stop me—I were to hurt you.”
I was human enough to have to ask. “Why?”
“Isabella.” He pronounced my name carefully, then playfully ruffled my hair with his free hand. A shock ran through my body at his casual touch. “Bella, I couldn’t life with myself if I ever hurt you. You don’t know how it’s tortured me.” He looked down, ashamed again. “The thought of you, still, white, cold…to never see you blush scarlet again[…] would be unendurable.” He lifted his glorious, agonized eyes to mine. “You are the most important thing to me now. The most important think to  me ever.”
Twilight – Chapter 13

This is an amazing picture of how we change as we meet God. When we get saved, we’re usually trying to be good. We really want to stop doing the things we know hurt us and the ones we love. But like the self-control issue we just discussed, unless we have a greater motivation, will power will only get us so far.

Edward’s confession to Bella, as he comes clean to her about the depth and nature of his thirst, we see he was much in the same place. Wanting to be good, feeling victorious and then “BAM,” he comes face-to-face with heroin-girl. Everything he’s built by virtue of his own will power and denial, is shaken to the core. He’s not beyond temptation, he is not beyond falling.

He relies on his family’s love to keep him centered, but even then, it’s barely enough to keep him from killing her. But then something changes. He falls in love.

No longer is he motivated by what his family or the humans will think if he slays her, but by his love for her. Even knowing he would never be caught or implicated in her murder, he is driven by his desire to keep her from pain.
He not only becomes more resolute in his will to keep from killing her, he became her protector. He was truly and deeply changed.

This is the only way that we are truly changed, as well. It is one thing to try and scrape by on will power and abstain from sin, for fear of grieving our brothers, or being shunned by our Church family. It’s another thing entirely to be driven by our love for God, and our desire not to grieve him with our sin. No negative emotion like fear, worry, or even will-power is strong enough to save us from ourselves. But it is love that changes our desires.

It is then that our temptations diminish and sink from our field of view, they no longer have power over us…because something much greater does. Our motives, mind-sets, and emotions all become subject to a being much greater and more wonderful than we ever before imagined. We see our faults, but no longer feel condemnation for them. We now see ourselves (faults included) in His eyes, and trust Him to change us in His timing…and uphold us until we are complete.

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~ by sarahthebaker on December 5, 2009.

2 Responses to “Devotion #11: What is it that changes us? Willpower vs. Affection”

  1. Sarah,
    Hi! I just noticed your comment on my post on Dry Ground! Thank you for stopping by and communicating with me. I am so glad we’ve found each other… like-minded Twi-hard/Chri-hard 🙂 sisters. Awesome. Let me know how I can encourage you. You’ve already encouraged me more than I can say! I’ll be taking time to read more of your entries, and I’ll link you on my blog as well. I have more chapters for my series floating around in my brain, but haven’t written them down yet. When I do, I’ll add them to my sidebar on Dry Ground. Anyway, would love to talk to you more. Look me up on Facebook if you want. 🙂 Take care and God bless! Write on!

    • Hi Lori!

      Thanks so much for writing back! I’m encouraged in just meeting someone who shares my point of view on God & Twilight! I so look forward to hearing more of your insights, as well.

      God bless you, too. Blessings!

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