5.26.2008

"Let It Go and Move On"

This will be a quick post, designed to introduce an idea that I'll flesh out later . . .

We are not called to just "get over" the things that shake our world.

When we come to terms with specific sins in our past and confess them, we are not to move on clean but unchanged, forgetting what we did. We are called to embrace a new reality and live in that reality: I did these things, and am the kind of person who does that kind of thing . . . but God intervened to forgive me and to be actively working to change me into the kind of person who doesn't do that kind of thing . . . but short of His active presence, that is who I am!

This is important for two reasons: 1) it is the only way to live in power and freedom, and 2) it is the only way to make that power and freedom available to all the other people who "are the kind of people who do that kind of thing" but want to be seen and live as people who are far too nice and good to ever go there.

When I forget reality and pretend that I am the kind of person who would never do that kind of thing, I become very vulnerable to the part of reality that I am ignoring -- who I really am -- and become unable to appropriate the part of reality that I use to justify my pretense -- the power of the forgiving and transforming Triune God. Jesus' call to abide in Him in John 13-15 requires TRUTH in order to have any experience at all of its POWER.

And when I forget reality and pretend that I am the kind of person who would never do that kind of thing, I become useless to the people around me as they struggle to find any kind of power to live life victoriously. Whether I actively judge them and "write them off" or not, I still become one more bit of evidence for a false religion that lacks power, and fail to become God's active hand of love and truth reaching out to them. It is only when I am willing to live in the reality of my own real and actual sinfulness that I can offer other real and actual sinners the power that comes from the real God. Anything else makes God into a bucket of white paint that we apply to cover up the dirt and decay . . . and no matter how faithfully we re-apply that white paint in a quiet time each day, the wall still eventually crumbles.

When I am willing to let Christianity stop being a way of washing off the dirt of the past and painting myself up to be able to be part of a community of other nice people, and replace it with a Christianity that daily acknowledges that we are all bankrupt but that the abundance of the Kingdom of God is given to us as long as we cling to Him . . .

God transforms me each day, and uses me to bring His transforming power to the world around me.

Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

2 Comments:

At Friday, May 30, 2008 at 8:23:00 AM PDT, Blogger Sensuous Wife said...

Jesus didn't waste his time dying for me. I needed it girlfriend!

There is something very powerful about acknowledging your capacity to sin and at the same moment acknowleding Jesus capacity to love you anyway.

The resulting change in our life can be one of freedom of letting him grow us and heal us instead of some frantic attempt to cover our faults so he won't be pissed and abandon us.

The other side effect of embracing this truth is the capacity to be generous in offering mercy to other people.

We're "in hock" in debt to grace. So we can't withold grace from others without putting our hearts in unbearable tension. This is part of what I think it means when the Bible says "the love of Christ constrains us". Having received this seismic powerful love resounding inside us, how can we refrain from loving? How do you hold back the seismic shimmering glory without getting a hernia or somthing? (grin)



PS I like the shorter bite-sized post. Gives me a chance to participate in your process and I don't always have the time and intellectual focus to give your longer posts what they're due. Love, SW

 
At Saturday, May 31, 2008 at 11:11:00 AM PDT, Blogger Maria Kettleson Anderson said...

I love your comment! You "got it", unlike others who seem to think that I'm arguing with the doctrine of justification, which I am not.

You manage to sum the whole thing up in a way that is much clearer than my whole long "shorter bite-sized" post. Thanks, SW!

 

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