In some ways our character – who we are – is like a big bag. It could be made from lots of different things, colours, textures, but it holds all the things that make up what/who we are. All those things can be any shape or size, beautiful or ugly but when they go into the bag they start to determine it’s overall shape/appearance. you can’t see the individaul things from the outside – just the overall unique shape. Sometimes you might be able to tell what one item is from it’s outline on the bag – but that depends on the things around it so you could get totally the wrong idea.
If you open up the bag and have a look you’ll see the last things that went in, but it’s a bit of a task to dig around and find out what all those big lumpy things in the bottom are. You could always tip everything out but what a mess and it could be too difficult to get them all back in. And it’s not a pretty sight if the bag rips and stuff falls out everywhere!
So I guess we are the sum of all the things that have influenced us, good and bad, and that makes us look/behave in our own unique ways. I think God loves it when we give him permission to shuffle the contents around, patch up the rips, and even put some new things in that sort of make it look a whole lot nicer.