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Work Out Your Own “Marriage“ With Fear and Trembling

In Philippians 2:12, the Bible tells us to “continue to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”. And while I have read this verse many times, I can’t say I fully understood its imperative.

How does that work?

Does that mean I need to work for my salvation?

Why do I need to “work out” something I already have?

And honestly, I didn’t fully understand this verse until I started watching this crazy show called “Married at First Sight”.

For those of you not spending a summer break binge-watching Lifetime shows - I have my debt payoff process to thank for my current summer plans - Married at First Sight is this social experiment meets reality TV where complete strangers get paired by professional matchmakers based on various compatibility markers, but then don’t actually meet one another until they’re face-to-face at the altar, getting legally married! It’s as crazy as it sounds.

After the giddiness of the ceremony, the seriousness of their decision sets in, and the couple must spend several weeks together as husband and wife, living out the implications that come along with being married. They must make all their decisions from a place of already being married but not actually knowing how to be married or anything about the person they’re married to.

They have to get to know the person eventhough they went through this life-altering process of marrying them. They have to work out their marriage. And because this is super serious work, they‘re not left completely alone: the same counselors who paired them, meet with them along the way to help them figure out their marriage.

And so it is with the Christian life and that Philippians verse:

We go through this life-altering experience with Christ where He saves us, gives us a new life in Him and starts us on a strange new journey. He, wanting to make His love known to us, draws us to Himself, but we don’t fully know Him so we get to spend time getting to know Him through this life jourhey.

And while the truth is that we’re new creations in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), we don’t know what we’re doing so we have to work it out. And we don’t work from a place of trying to get saved; we work from the reality that we’re already saved. There are new implications that come with being a saved person and we have to figure those out with the seriousness it takes to live this new life. And thankfully we have the Holy Spirit as our counselor to guide us along the way!

We work out our salvation because we’re already saved. Now we have to live like it.

Well look at that: Married at First Sight is breaking down the mysteries of the scriptures to me, one jaw-dropping episode at a time.

Lourdes Anita


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