I am all for freedom of expression. I think I appreciate the purpose of this right we all have, but sometimes I wish that some did not have this right that they seem to use freely and with impunity. I am quite exhausted of being bombarded by views, opposing views, countered opinions and calling into question people’s motives, intelligence, integrity, and humanity. I’m weary of people who seem to feel free to throw stones at those on the field of play from the side-lines, and basically look down at those who differ from their hallowed positions.
How did we get to a place where it seems no one is held accountable for anything? It seems we are free to think what we like, say what we like, do what we like, and forget the rest. Who cares? From all that is happening it is clear we all care a lot by all the shouting that is going on, on social media and the radio. It’s as if everyone else needs to be held to account except me. Why is it so impossible for us to get along, to be kind, work together to solve this crisis, ensure the hungry are fed and not steal the food provided for the poor and then sell it?
This crisis has shown the good, the bad, and the ugly of what it is to be human. When it comes down to it and the chips are down, we will look after number one. How did we get here? Have we always been like this as humans? There is such a nobility to man and yet such cruelty. How do we understand this?
The beginning, Genesis, again is so helpful here. The nobility of man is given to him by his Creator. God gave Adam total dignity by giving him choice, choice to love God and know his place as the created one, the finite one, who owes everything to his Creator. God gave everything to Adam and endowed him with all dignity and worth to fulfil his calling in being God’s vice reagent on this planet. He was given one restriction though: “Do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat of it you will surely die” (2:17).
The biggest risk anyone in relationship can take is to love someone. Love is not a transaction. It cannot be. A transaction is not love but business. Adam is free to love God or not, obey God or not. Anything less than that high freedom is programmed and not love. God did not create a robot. He created a free thinking, choosing human. Why would Adam and Eve doubt that the God who created them would be mean and withhold something from them if it is for their own good? In their moment of choosing they decided to elevate themselves to the position of them knowing better than their Creator what is good for them. I want to decide for myself what is good for me or bad for me.
The problem with being able to differentiate is that I need a frame of reference that is outside myself to make the determination. Either I am the eternal reference point or God is. The Bible says that God is good. Again, this is not an attribute but His nature, who He is. He is 100% good. You see, it is only if you are 100% good in all your ways, in essence, that you can determine what is evil or not good. Only God who is all knowing and good can properly differentiate. I am not all knowing nor am I good.
In that moment of seeking autonomy everything changed, broke, died. Suddenly Adam and Eve hide from God. They are ashamed of their nakedness. They blame each other for the cause of the problem they face. Their physical death came later. The death they experienced is the death of the spiritual life they had which allows them unfettered access to the God who is there and is not silent. Immediately the human is alienated from himself. He is alienated from the one he loves. Humans are alienated from their purpose. All of the roles that make them feel human now come with frustration and difficulty. They are even alienated from nature.
This helps me in that man is not the way he is supposed to be. There is a hope that man can be restored to fulfil his created destiny. If there is no Creator God, then man is like this, period, and we have exhausted all manner of means to make man better. All the self-help, self-fulfilment, self-discipline, self-actualization, the many courses and TED talks have not moved man one inch, and yet we are determined not to bow the knee or our minds or our hearts, to the reality that God exists and made us and that we are accountable to Him for the life that we have. We are accountable to Him for every choice we make. We baulk at the idea that we are accountable to God for our choices, yet we clearly understand that one has havoc if persons are not accountable.
I am that man. I want it all on my terms. I even want a God on my terms, that fits me and to whom I do not have to bow the knee or any other part of me. I get mad at everyone else. They are the problem. ‘They’ need to come right. We all say the same thing but from a different standpoint and alienation continues unabated. I can’t even fix myself to love my wife and kids better and they deserve much better.
June 36 years ago, I did bow the knee. 36 years ago, I found my Creator, found my God who had been pursuing me all the days of my life. And so, now my journey started again back to the beginning and there to find again the sure foundation of His Truth that holds me now to be better in relationship.
What will you do and where will you go because you must deal with the question of your nobility yet your cruelty that is most expressed in relationship?
Chat more tomorrow.