In the last two weeks I’ve been writing about how disfunctionally we see ourselves and God, that if we could clean the lenses through which we view life and ourselves, we would see that we are already loved by God, just as we are. We have nothing to do except to see this reality. We have no improvements to make on ourselves. Nothing new to learn. The only thing to be done is to allow this truth about our lives become how we see ourselves and God and everyone else as well.
So we have to give up our negative views of ourselves. We have to let go of how we judge ourselves and others. We have to set aside the angst that the culture teaches us about ourselves—that we lack something and a lot of somethings, because if we somehow had what we lack, then we’d be happy and fulfilled and loved.
This cultural view of ourselves and others is already what we live; it is our lived view of reality of ourselves and of God. This is not truth. It is a lie. But everywhere we look, this lie is what gets reinforced. It is why we’re competitive with our neighbors, why we judge other people in our churches, why we compete with other denominations because “we have the right interpretation” of God’s word and they don’t. It is why we fight wars—we know we’re right and they are not only wrong, but they don’t deserve to have what they do have.
This is the human condition, that because we cannot see this fault line, we cannot hear the truth. Jesus taught in parables[Matthew 13:13] because of this flaw in the human senses. We think we see reality, when what we’re really doing is perpetuating lies.
The truth is so simple that we just can’t grasp it. It is so remote from how we experience life. Every single thing we do to move into a relationship with God that is based on this basic lie will fail. Every self-improvement attempt will fail. Every attempt to hide how vulnerable and flawed we are will fail. They will fail until we can admit these two basic truths: that God loves us just as we are and that he is always with us, no matter what. He always has been and always will be with us. When we begin to take in the reality that God is always with us and has always loved us, that is when we begin to live that reality rather than the very human “reality” that passes for truth in our world.
This is what I mean by lived reality. It isn’t enough to believe in God, given our muddied lenses. Or to be a Christian. Or to have a close walk with God. God’s love for us and his presence with us must be the one truth we base our lives on. It has to be the lens through which we see ourselves and others and God. This is the truth of Jesus’ Two Great Commandments. It is what he means when he talks of bringing our whole selves to God in love—heart, mind, soul and strength(incarnation, embodiment). We need to embody this truth with the totality of ourselves in order to be true to Jesus’ teachings.
And as long as we push this truth away, we cannot love and often we are not lovable. We do not live this truth. There is no other truth to live, only lies.
This week’s blessing: May we live in Spirit and in truth. May we allow God into our innermost selves, to transform how we think about ourselves and others and God. May we live the truth as God reveals it to us. in faith and love, Pat
Questions to ponder over the week: How distorted are the lenses through which I see God and myself? What needs to change in me so that I can live in truth? What holds me back from embracing the change?
If you’d like to see more of By the Waters, check these out:
–There’s a new video up on YouTube: “A Deeper, Truer Self” www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkMcedHar8c&feature=em-upload_owner and more
–Check out my twitter feed at twitter.com/BTWwithPatAdams
–Check out the “Offerings Page” on the website which links to a CD of guided meditations designed to help deepen your spiritual life and a series of booklets on the Life of the Spirit.