Grace is given to reconnect us to our true nature. J.P. Newell
Our True Nature – The Sin Series – Part 2
The more you know about who you are, the more you’ll know what you should do. That’s why a lot of unhealthy religious (and otherwise) communities focus on tearing down your sense of self, to the point where you want “the people at the top” to make all the decisions for you in case you make the wrong one. Anything from what you should wear, to who you should vote for, to where you spend your money, to what words you are and are not allowed to say.
Side note: All healthy spirituality teaches people how to connect with God for themselves, and seeks not to control, but to free people to make their own decisions about God and faith and life. That’s a big WHY for us behind Pocket Fuel and our own daily spiritual practice.
The Bible is many tiny narratives brought together to form one huge narrative about who you are and how you belong. It can be summed up in three words:
Forgiven. Redeemed. Child.
Not ‘child' as in small and helpless and immature. But when you are a child in a healthy family, where do you belong? In the very middle of it all. You can’t belong more than a child belongs.
I love the language of redemption because it's not about being brought somewhere you didn’t previously belong. It’s about returning to where you’ve always belonged.
Your identity isn’t wound up in your sin, in your culpable disturbance of Shalom. You were a saint, beloved, child of God, before you were anything else. Your identity is found in the Divine through Christ. (Gal 2.) And what has he done to sin?
Forgiven it. All of it. It’s not a blockage. There is no gap to bridge.
Now, that’s not to say that sin isn’t a factor. It totally is. It’s inescapable. Even though I’m forgiven, and I have a concept and experience of the restoration of peace and wholeness in my life, sin is an ever-present factor.
It’s not forgiveness as in we sin and then we repent, and then we wait for God to wave his magic wand of forgiveness over us so that we can be automatically aligned for those precious 3 minutes before we sin again… (or perhaps for you it's more like an hour. Or something.)
The language is there to describe our state of being: Forgiven. Connected. It’s something we live both from, and into. It’s a return and a promise.
And a mystery. Because somehow, through all the sinning and the brokenness and the fractured state of the world:
With you. For you. Ready for you to wake up and realize just how forgiven (on your way, and involved in shalom) you are and can be.
“Grace is given to reconnect us to our true nature. At the heart of our being is the image of God, and thus the wisdom of God, the creativity of God, the passions of God, the longings of God. Grace is opposed not to what is deepest in us but to what is false in us. It is given to restore us to the core of our being and to free us from the unnaturalness of what we are doing to one another and to the earth.” (1.)
Written by Liz Milani
1). Christ of the Celts: the Healing of Creation. John Philip Newell. John Wiley and Sons.