Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Christmas Wish

In the past several weeks I have had more than one person I am working with tell me that they let other people control them.  But worse, that they let others define them.  And in some cases let others diminish them, even "erase" their sense of self.

In reading a Brennan Manning book (Poser, Fakers, & Wannabes) I ran across the following passage.  

"When a person finally accepts the profound mystery that she is totally loved by God and there's nothing she can do about that, then she has a fighting chance at embracing her core identity as Abba's Child.  And then she slowly gains emancipation from all those controlling relationships.  She shifts what psychologist Julian Rotter called the locus of control - the place where decisions about change are made - from external control to internal self-control."  

This ties in so beautifully with what Paul says in Colossians 1.  "The Secret is this, Christ in us, the hope of glory"

I am more and more convinced that the secret to being the person God wants us to be is quite simple (not easy, but simple).  Turning inside, and connecting with the Christ in us, and becoming intimate with our God.  And then, in the context of that intimacy, discovering who we really are.  Our true self.  Our "created to be" self.  

When we have this profound sense of God's presence, and this strong inner sense of who we are in Christ, then we can be in the world in a totally new way.

No longer does fear, greed, hate - all those things of the world - no longer do other people, our culture, and all those other forces, have the power to define us.  We are already defined by God, and by our grace filled relationship with that God.

How that kind of strong inner core would transform how we think, feel, and yes, behave.  We can only benefit from an internal locus of control however, if there is something good and strong inside us. If what is inside us is vague, if we are empty, or worse, if our inner self is cluttered with the stuff of the world, and the stuff other people throw at us, we will not find there the peace, the hope, God wants for us.

So our job is to constantly go inward... to that core.  And there find our God, and there find the empowering Spirit, and there find, who we truly are :)

This Christmas season, my hope is that we all receive the greatest gift of all.  That sense of God's indwelling, and of that self that we were always meant to be...


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