Spiritual Exoskeleton

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March 27, 2013

I was crippled by polio at six months old, paralyzed from the waist down on my left side. In order to stand or walk at all, I was fitted with a steel-and-leather brace from hip to shoe. This brace provided the external support I needed to stay upright and to walk. I was blessed to regain some use of my leg, and my muscles slowly grew stronger. I was able to go to a half brace; then, when I learned to lock my knee, they took away the brace altogether because the strength and support became internal rather than external.

I am grateful for the way my brace gives me a picture of grace-filled accountability. One of the reasons God wants us to live in community is because sometimes we need an external support system that provides structure and support while we learn new ways of thinking and living. That external support system, a “spiritual exoskeleton,” can take many forms.

It’s friends who ask how they can pray for you and then follow up with shame-free, no-condemnation questions about how you’re doing.

It’s giving a trusted friend your car keys and debit card for safe keeping when you are struggling with the temptation to go off by yourself to indulge in destructive choices.

It’s knowing you need software to block your computer access to pornography, and asking someone else to choose the password.

It’s asking a friend to check up on you and ask how you’re doing at keeping a particular promise or fulfilling an obligation.

It’s inviting someone to text or call when you’re being tempted. Even at 2 a.m.

It’s being transparent, such as showing an accountability partner your bank records or cell phone records.

It’s the wisdom of AA and other recovery groups who strongly suggest that an addict seeking to become an overcomer attend ninety meetings in ninety days.

It’s discovering that seeking God through participating in a liturgical church’s daily worship and prayer services can produce the spiritual fruit of greater intimacy with Him.

It’s encouraging others in choices and habits that will help them grow spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. Asking, “What book(s) are you reading right now?” “What are you wrestling with or learning from God right now?” “What one thing would you like to be different a month (or three) from now, that I can pray for you about?” It’s living out the truth of Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”

All these means of external support can become the beauty of internal strength as we “grow up into Christ, who is the head. From him the whole body grows, fitted and held together through every supporting ligament. As each one does its part, the body grows in love” (Eph. 4:15-16). The “spiritual exoskeleton” can become the internal “supporting ligament,” not to mention core strength, of self-controlled people.

Here’s to being able to take off the braces of our lives—but first, we give thanks for them!

This blog post originally appeared at blogs.bible.org/tapestry/sue_bohlin/spiritual_exoskeleton

Sue Bohlin is an associate speaker/writer and webmistress for Probe Ministries. She attended the University of Illinois, and has been a Bible teacher and conference speaker for over 35 years. She is a frequent speaker for MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) and Stonecroft Ministries (Christian Women's Connections), and serves on the board and as a small group leader of Living Hope Ministries, a Christ-centered outreach to those dealing with unwanted homosexuality. Sue is on the Bible.org Women's Leadership Team and is a regular contributor to Bible.org's Engage Blog. She is also a professional calligrapher; but most importantly, she is the wife of Probe's Dr. Ray Bohlin and the mother of their two grown sons. Her personal website is suebohlin.com.

What is Probe?

Probe Ministries is a non-profit ministry whose mission is to assist the church in renewing the minds of believers with a Christian worldview and to equip the church to engage the world for Christ. Probe fulfills this mission through our Mind Games conferences for youth and adults, our 3-minute daily radio program, and our extensive Web site at www.probe.org.

Further information about Probe's materials and ministry may be obtained by contacting us at:

Probe Ministries
2001 W. Plano Parkway, Suite 2000
Plano TX 75075
(972) 941-4565
info@probe.org
www.probe.org

Copyright/Reproduction Limitations

This document is the sole property of Probe Ministries. It may not be altered or edited in any way. Permission is granted to use in digital or printed form so long as it is circulated without charge, and in its entirety. This document may not be repackaged in any form for sale or resale. All reproductions of this document must contain the copyright notice (i.e., Copyright 2015 Probe Ministries) and this Copyright/Limitations notice.

Sue Bohlin is an associate speaker/writer and webmistress for Probe Ministries. She attended the University of Illinois, and has been a Bible teacher and conference speaker for over 35 years. She is a frequent speaker for MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) and Stonecroft Ministries (Christian Women's Connections), and serves on the board and as a small group leader of Living Hope Ministries, a Christ-centered outreach to those dealing with unwanted homosexuality. Sue is on the Bible.org Women's Leadership Team and is a regular contributor to Bible.org's Engage Blog. She is also a professional calligrapher; but most importantly, she is the wife of Probe's Dr. Ray Bohlin and the mother of their two grown sons. Her personal website is suebohlin.com.

What is Probe?

Probe Ministries is a non-profit ministry whose mission is to assist the church in renewing the minds of believers with a Christian worldview and to equip the church to engage the world for Christ. Probe fulfills this mission through our Mind Games conferences for youth and adults, our 3-minute daily radio program, and our extensive Web site at www.probe.org.

Further information about Probe's materials and ministry may be obtained by contacting us at:

Probe Ministries
2001 W. Plano Parkway, Suite 2000
Plano TX 75075
(972) 941-4565
info@probe.org
www.probe.org

Copyright/Reproduction Limitations

This document is the sole property of Probe Ministries. It may not be altered or edited in any way. Permission is granted to use in digital or printed form so long as it is circulated without charge, and in its entirety. This document may not be repackaged in any form for sale or resale. All reproductions of this document must contain the copyright notice (i.e., Copyright 2015 Probe Ministries) and this Copyright/Limitations notice.

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