Can we get over this idea that Christianity is about getting our behavior under control? I am still trying to get us all started on this journey to freedom, but I find myself stuck at the starting block, because of all the possible confusion about where this journey really goes. It is so natural for us to think that freedom is all about us finally not misbehaving.
I hear preachers say the same thing but then, as they dig into the meat of their message, they still talk about that “besetting sin”, or our “thought life”. All these phrases and messages indicate that while we know in our minds that the Christian life is not just about sin management, we still have a default setting that tells us it really is.
We live from the position of those who have lived a life of trapped-ness. So of course we think, un-trapped equals freedom. Do you realize you can get your “thought-life” under control, and finally cease the “besetting sin” and still never approach freedom. Freedom is when we can live our lives fully as the man or woman that God created us to be. It’s not a matter of “not-doing” nearly as much as it is about living in our destiny.
A man destined to cure cancer is no use to us, if all he ever achieves is compliance with THE RULES.
A woman who was created to excel at the violin, and touch the hearts of men and women does little in her world if all she accomplishes is not being angry.
Jesus gave us a glimpse of this idea in the most brilliant sermon ever preached. “You have heard it said…” He repeats again and again, as He calls to mind THE RULES. “You have heard it said don’t murder, but I say to you don’t hate”. “You have heard it said don’t commit adultery, but I say to you, don’t lust”. What if we add the implied message. You know, the real meaning of, “don’t hate”, and “don’t lust”. It might sound something like this, if we had never lived our live in a fallen state:
You have heard it said “don’t murder” but I say to you, give life to those around you.
You have heard it said, “don’t commit adultery” but I say to you learn to live lives of deep sharing and true monogamous intimacy.
Hear the new message? Don’t just “not do”, rather, be the kind of person (loving, generous, life-filled) who doesn’t even have the kind of heart that leads to the doing.
What if Jesus came to restore to us our position and role in God’s creation? What if you and I were made to stand at His side and learn to steer the cosmos and earth was our boot camp? We might end up in eternity with clean clothes but no comprehension of what we were there to do. How do I change an atmosphere? How do I increase power in a region? What do I do to make love more anchored in a soul, a family, or geographical area?
All I know, is John Wimber once said, that when we learn to spend our time, focus, and energy healing the sick and setting captives free, we don’t have a whole lot of time, energy, or inclination to do all the things we used to spend so much time trying to quit.
OK, I think I can get this journey started now….ready?
By the way, how many of you created a Jesus Mii since the last post?