Of course I know what “default” means: someone failed to repay a loan. Right? Apparently not, in this age of modern technology, and I was behind the curve.
At thirty-five my first computer class was intimidating, because I knew little to nothing about the new technology taking over my world. Even my years of experience in business didn’t help. Not here; not now.
So what’s with this word “default?” I seriously thought I knew what it meant. Eventually, I figured out it was the original settings on this ingenious beast setting in front of me.
Computers are programmed to respond to a command the same way every time. For example, F1 is always Help; F3 is always Print. These default settings are built in at the factory, and they remain that way until someone, who understands the internal workings of computers, changes them do otherwise.
What does this have to do with me? A lot—since I too am programmed.
My default was originally set to live in perfect fellowship with God on this amazing Planet Earth. From the get-go I would be able to walk with Him, talk with Him, and understand His ways. Imagine that—God and me on the same page!
Then it happened, right there in the Garden of Eden, my original setting was changed in a moment when Eve chose to experience evil. She had already experienced good since everything around her was good—God had called it so.
When Satan tempted her to eat of the tree of good and evil, she made a really bad choice.1
Go ahead and blame Eve. That’s the easy thing to do. Yet thousands of years later in my own garden of life, I did the same.
Because of Eve’s choice, my default (along with that of the entire human race) was reset to obey my sin nature. In other words, my fallen-from-God’s-intended-nature is now in control of ME.2 One could say that I have a faulty default.
So there it is—better known as self—reigning on the throne of my life and making my decisions. I am a slave to it3 and will continue to be until someone, who knows how to reprogram ME, resets my default.
In the meantime, self is looking out for ME. You know—it’s all about ME. I’m on guard for anyone who might hurt ME, take advantage of ME, do ME wrong, or give ME the short end of the stick. I also have a keen eye for anything that would rob ME of the credit, compensation, or glory due ME. I know it sounds selfish, but I prefer to call it self-preservation.
Jesus talked about this very thing. He said saving my life isn’t the best route to take—that is, if I want to follow Him.4 No doubt, that decision will require a change in my current default setting.
I’ve tried to change it, all by myself—unsuccessfully. Haven’t we all tried—unsuccessfully?
I needed the skill of the Master Programmer, someone who understands the inner workings of human hearts. I needed Jesus, the Creator and Author of life. He was the only one who could successfully change my default.
And He did! Jesus changed it the day I believed in Him as my Lord and Savior. Completely. Officially. Legally.5
In a moment, I became a new creation and the old sin-default-setting is now gone.6 I am returned to perfect fellowship with God just as He intended for me to be in the beginning.
But then, that is what Jesus does—He sets captives free. I am no longer a slave to my faulty default. No one else has to be either. ~ Janie Kellogg
1Genesis 3:4-7; 2Romans 7:17-20; 3Romans 7:14; 4Luke 9:23-24; 5Colossians 2:13-15; 62 Corinthians 5:17