When you speak healing words, you offer others fruit from the tree of life. Proverbs 15:4 (TPT)
Our True Nature – The Heart Of The Matter – Part 3
When God created Adam, he said it was good. Goodness has been hardwired into our being from the very beginning. The deepest and most sacred parts of ourselves are not in opposition to God but harmony. Sometime after our “birth,” sin entered the world/our lives and has ever since damaged the heart of everything, leaving pain and separateness in its wake. But sin was not part of our original design. We may be entangled in it, but it is not our place of origin. It's not who we really are.
That’s not to say that sin isn’t an issue; that evil doesn’t lurk in the hallways, and even closer. It does. Sin is the stuff that doesn’t work; the stuff that stops us from growing, that leads to the death of love and hope and grace in our lives and relationships. Why did God command us not to commit adultery? Not to covet? Not to murder, and more? Because those things don’t work for us, they don’t lead to life.
John Scotus Eriugena, a ninth century Irish Christian teacher, referred to sin as “leprosy of the soul.” Just as leprosy distorts the human face and body, corroding its beauty and health beyond recognition, so sin distorts the heart. We’ve become so accustomed to the deformity, so used to living with the disease, that we believe it is our original and destined design.
Leprosy is a disease of insensitivity, loss of feeling, and just like leprosy, sin leads us into an insensitivity to what is deepest within us and each other. More and more we treat one another as if we we're not made in the image of God. Instead of cooperating with each other, we compete. Significance is the goal, and we’ll go to any length, even at the expense of others, to get it. Anything to make us feel better and hide our damage. From a personal to a national level, we hoard our abundance in fear that there won’t be enough to go around.
Sin is bad, not because it’s God's kryptonite – The Divine can see what it does to our hearts. What it's always done. corrupted, corroded, grown over our true nature. The damage within comes out through our mouths and hands and feet; it shows in our words, actions, policies; the things we're silent about and the things we scream about.
In ancient Hebrew tradition, the heart was the center of someone's personhood; the seat of not only their emotions but their intelligence, too. Research conducted at the Heart Math Institute backs up this idea. They have discovered that the heart sends the brain 95% more signals than it receives from it. They believe that it's the heart, not the brain, that is the boss of our spiritual and physical beings (heartmath.org).
It's no wonder that Luke records Jesus as saying:
“Your true being brims over into true words and deeds.” (Luke 6:45 MSG). He was reminding them of the wisdom tradition:
“So above all, guard the affections of your heart, for they affect all that you are.” (Proverbs 4:23.)
What's brimming over in our world? You don’t have to look very far, perhaps not even beyond yourself, to see the damage, the leprose decay, festering in a world full of people who have forgotten who they really are.
Thankfully, grace comes to remind us.
“Christ comes to reawaken us to our true nature” (John Philip Newell, Christ of the Celts).
Written by Lizzy Milani
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