I hear the term “Reparative Therapy” being tossed around quite a bit these days. In essence, it’s about helping some to change a behavior that others find contradictory to their own established norms. In most cases, the one receiving therapy has entered into it on their own accord because they recognize that something within needs changing. I understand that is many cases, “Reparative Therapy” is associated with forceful tactics hyper-moral compulsion, and bigotry, but this does not undermine its core concept. Does it?
Isn’t what God does with sinful human beings “Reparative Therapy?” I accept that the word “Therapy” may actually minimize the infinite-ness of what God does, but in essence when God grants repentance (2 Timothy 2:25) (Acts 11:18) (Romans 2:4), replaces our heart of stone with a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 11:19) (Jeremiah 24:7) (Ezekiel 36:26), restores us (Job 33:26) (Lamentations 5:21) (Galatians 6:1-3), and causes us to walk in His ways (1 Kings 3:14 ) (Ezekiel 36:27) (Hosea 14:9), isn’t that all reparative?
God’s reparative therapy hurts. But likewise, that pain doesn’t negate it’s divine origin or purpose. At times, God does this through the agency of people.
In his book, “Wounds That Heal: Bringing Our Hurts to the Cross,” Stephen Seamands says:
As we abide in Him, so Christ, the one who opened himself to unimaginable dread and despair, abides in us. His courage and determination is imparted to us. As we stand beneath the cross like a patient facing a painful operation, we are able to say to Jesus, our great physician and surgeon, “I am ready.” In Christ, we can open our arms to embrace pain and endure the suffering necessary for healing. Christ’s grace not only enables us to embrace endure suffering, it also transforms us through our suffering. Suffering we feared would be destructive becomes redemptive (reparative).
Those who seek spiritual change must know that it costs everything! (Luke 17:33). Those who know what’s right and fail to do it are complicit in the sin. (James 4:17) Those who call good evil, and evil good have been warned by God and are still under warning (Isaiah 5:20)
So, Isn’t Repentance, Replacement, and Restoration God’s Reparative Therapy?