“We are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around.”
We were all created the same: to be our original, authentic selves. We are each unique, and yet our uniqueness is not at all original. There is no prize for the most hipster original, authentic truest expression of self.
There is only your life, and your responsibility to live it fully and well. We are somewhat pieces of the most complex, giant jigsaw. We are each shaped differently, having different lines and colors across us, and yet somehow, we fit together.
The trick, or the secret, or the key, is to understand that your originality is your gift and your power. Not power in a domineering since (we tend to think of power in that manner which is why, particularly Christians, feel uncomfortable when we talk about ‘your power’), but power in the sense of engagement and personal responsibility.
I think that’s what Paul was talking about when he said:
“We are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. The body we’re talking about is Christ’s body of chosen people (which, Paul continuously said was EVERYONE). Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn’t amount to much, would we? So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t. If you preach, just preach God’s Message, nothing else; if you help, just help, don’t take over; if you teach, stick to your teaching; if you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don’t get bossy; if you’re put in charge, don’t manipulate; if you’re called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond; if you work with the disadvantaged, don’t let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face. Love from the centre of who you are; don’t fake it.” (Romans 12:4-9 MSG).
“I am convinced more than ever that Christian spirituality is a homecoming, not a rescue mission. Jesus did not come to rescue us from ourselves, but to return us to our true selves, found in The Divine; located in the divinity that we were created from and in and for.”
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That’s the common miracle: when we stop trying to make every other person in the world look and think and feel and function and believe exactly like us, and instead celebrate all the different selves expressed in creation – in the body of Christ, which is everyone everywhere whether they know it or not – and help each other gather together; somehow, someway, beyond our wildest expectations, we create a masterpiece. One that is a never-ending work of beauty and redemption in progress.
I am convinced more than ever that Christian spirituality is a homecoming, not a rescue mission. Jesus did not come to rescue us from ourselves, but to return us to our true selves, found in The Divine; located in the divinity that we were created from and in and for.
When we begin to love our original selves for who we are, we will start to be able to love others for their original selves, too. We might just find synergy in that discovery… a sense of functionality in the world not unlike a healthy body; not unlike the most wonderfully beautiful and complex jigsaw you’ve ever been a part of.
Want to know how to be original? Start with this:
Love from the centre of who you are; don’t fake it.
Written by Liz Milani