Journey: Holiness

Posted: 03.01.2010 in journey

Holiness seems to be an awkward or unwanted thing to talk about in some circles these days. It feels sort of outdated or outside the trends of things being contemplated/discussed/or otherwise engaged, probably because it feels associated with an understanding of church/religion/spirituality that is focused on behavior. And while that behavior is often intellectually understood to be an outflow of what is in our hearts, the reality is that it is an attempt to do “the right things” and not let “the wrong things” see the light of day. And what we end up with leads us to a feeling of disjointedness and/or hypocrisy. Repression is different than redemption.

Now let me be clear at this juncture, I am not advocating that a person just do whatever they feel like in order to be “authentic”.  For instance, should you feel strongly that you would like to get out of your car and beat the crap out of the person who just cut you off, I am in no way advocating that you need to follow through with this in order to not be a hypocrite.

What I am advocating is that we need to not shove down/away thoughts and feelings that are not considered “holy”.    In psychological terms, that is known as “splitting.”  This does not make one holy, it makes one unhealthy psychologically.  So, what should one do with feelings and thoughts that are not good, helpful, or holy?  The first problem is the word “should.”   We are generally shoulding on ourselves, which only piles on shame to unmet expectations, which is also not repentance.

What are we to do?  We need to acknowledge these things in our hearts and minds.  I need to acknowledge that sometimes, I am an angry jerk, rather than wishing I wasn’t and pretending that is not really me.  It is a real part of me.  Accepting that and confessing that before God, and others if need be, is appropriate.   Inviting the conviction of the Spirit in my life and heart is necessary and good, because God is not interesting in condemning me for my anger.  God is interested in me agreeing with the truth that I am an angry man and then inviting Him to bring about grief and repentance of that which damages my relationships with myself and others.  This way, the fullness of who I am can be brought to light for me and God to see (and hopefully others), the good and the bad, the light and the dark,  so that the places of darkness experience the redemption that comes through the work of Christ manifested through the Spirit.

These thoughts feel in process for me still, what do you think?


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