The Difference Between Persuading and Embracing

Do you remember as a child when your mom made you brush your teeth? I mean, really, made you, because you simply did not want to. Hopefully somewhere along your late elementary years you caught the importance after multiple visits to the dentist and you chose to brush your teeth. But now, you choose to do so because you have matured in this personal discipline and, hey, it’s better than walking around with lettuce between your teeth.

I’m reminded of my elementary years when I read Hebrews 11:13, “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”I was regularly having to be convinced of the “benefits” of brushing my teeth and as I got older I brushed out of habit or attempting to avoid a confrontation over plaque, but somewhere along life I embraced these ideas as my own.

You know, there are is a profound truth found in Hebrews 11:13 illustrated by that ridiculous story — there’s a difference between being persuaded and embracing the truth as our own. I attempt to persuade my children, but what I long for is for them to embrace whole-heartedly the same truths I believe. Yet I am soberly reminded by my Heavenly Father that I too do not fully embrace His truths. At times I can be persuaded, but what I need, like Abraham, is to embrace God’s truths as my own.

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