The key to life is more simple than many of us imagine. It is challenging to achieve real life when we are surrounded with ‘sensible’ advice on how to be an economic success and often misguided religious advice on how to be Godly.
EYES THAT SEE
You don’t have to be a genius to see that popular versions of success are killing the earth and that many forms of Christianity do not make people human. The fact is that religion can only make us a pale imitation of our genuine selves – the selves we were conceived to be out of the womb of the trinity and the selves we are destined to become in the omega that is Jesus Christ.
We can do better than attempt to ‘be like Jesus.’ Incarnated in us Jesus becomes us and we grow into our true self. This life in the Spirit and the how of how we are meant to live.
As a disciple of Jesus you will never become an un-self. Sure, you will be rid of selfishness but you will also divest yourself of religious substitutes for real life. Thousands of people never get to be real because they never get further than Christianity.** But Jesus had in mind for them to be the incarnation of Himself. Thomas Merton writes,
THIS IS SONSHIP
“Finally I am coming to the conclusion that my highest ambition is to be what I already am. That I will never fulfil my obligation to surpass myself unless I first accept myself, and if I accept myself fully in the right way, I will already have surpassed myself.” You accept yourself fully in Jesus because He accepts you.
This is not the lazy persons excuse for remaining in sin. It’s the re-born man explaining what it means to be born again. If we could see our new birth as becoming an authentic son of God rather than translating new birth religiously as religion - an invigorated form of moralising - we would like ourselves better and actually be rivers of living water. Many Believers never get further than practising Jesus as a religion. His aim is to practise Himself as you, which makes you the manifestation of Jesus where you are.
** Many of us read the Bible with the intention to improve our lives by becoming more Christ-like. But the Bible was not written as a how to be Christ-like book. It’s the story of people who lived in God in the Old Testament and the account of how to be one with God in the New Testament. Jesus said that it’s not scriptures that give us life. It’s Him in us. This is the witness of Paul and John.