The Courage to Be, the title of a book by Paul Tillich connotes the ideal of being fully human and fully alive - a state of being that is ours when we are able to transcend anxiety, fear and lack of love to become who we really are in our genuine identity and purpose.
The essence of captivity is to be imprisoned in what we are not and bound in being less than we are. The most insidious form of this captivity is to imagine we are free when we are bound. False-life, false-freedom and false-belief is what Jesus liberates us from. 'The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free' Luke 4.18 NIV. A well-used ploy of the Enemy is to have us think we are rich when we are poor.
From an early age I had a clear sense of my identity. I desired to be myself rather than a shadow of others. I admire people who are themselves, with humility, vision, flexibility of thought and the happy possession of wisdom and revelation. They contribute to the richness of life and expand possibility. By living in Jesus we can live in an open door. Here we judge that which is degrading and life-denying while being encouraged to move into fresh avenues of life. Christ our life is about resurrection after every ‘failure’ and regeneration following every wound.
A SMOTHERED YOU
Conservativism is to society what mould is to food. Conservativism poses as wisdom and practicality. Much of it is the result of fear, laziness of thought and an addiction to a false sense of security in the status quo. Conservatives fear not only losing the familiar but losing themselves through change. Judging those who are moving from the present into the future – they make their own life in the present from the fruits of visionaries who have preceded them. From those more bold and more daring than themselves. To that extent conservativism is parasitic off the enterprise of others.
When able to love ourselves we a love life. We must be set free to be ourselves and gain the capacity to love. The ability to love is way better than the need to control; the latter being a compulsion that sometimes masquerades as love when it is really a bid for self-preservation. Genuine love is liberating and glorious.
Freedom and joy go together and result from our being bound to the Son of Man. The Spirit of the Lord is the spirit of imagination, liberty and novelty. There's nothing noble or life-giving about rusted-on ideas. The power of Jesus is His resurrection and the vitality of Jesus is expressed in us as new creation beings. In Jesus one can always be uniquely oneself, joined to others and grounded in the rock from which we were hewn. In other words we are a living stone.
In fifth class at primary school I wrote in numerous places on my exercise books and carved somewhere on my desk the words, 'I am me.' You will always do better as yourself than as a clone of someone else. One can be a kind of human jelly-fish living in continuous adaptation to others. There’s no grace here. Just a poor vision of who we are in Christ.
Some live from a Christian scarcity mentality. To seek to flourish as a human being is better by far than being absorbed in survival. The courage to be takes more existential boldness than concentrating on survival. As a son, you know your lineage is in heaven and you belong to the family of God. You will not be content in merely being righteous, as important as this is. No, you will have a spirit within you that impels you to become an eagle rather than resign yourself to being a horse or some other beast of burden. Life on the treadmill of the world system takes no courage at all - just resignation to 'received wisdom' and a degree of self-deception, rather than a fully lived life.
'The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full' John 10.10 NIV.
AN OPEN DOOR
Those who live in the Son of Man have a wide space in which to think and move. Not so those congealed in ideologies and rusted-on thinking. One will do much better as a human being as a representative of the new creation, rather than as a cipher of the old covenant. Across the body of Christ there is a huge need to rise out of the old covenant regime that God put to death at the cross and step boldly into the new creation life that began when He came out of the tomb on Sunday morning.
'Since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man' 1 Cor 15.21 NIV.
THE REALITY OF YOU IS CHRIST
Of course you were, still are and always will be yourself. But even more so since you graduated from religion into a personal relationship with Jesus. If Father and Son are anything, they are themselves in the fullest sense. What else does "I AM" mean? We have not yet arrived. But we are ‘becoming.’ Growing into the fullness of Christ is a journey and an advance into who we were created to be, who we actually are and who we will become.
Those who talk of realising our destiny and identity in Jesus are spot on. This is the only way, the only new and living way this can be achieved. Basically, we are sons/daughters when we live in the Father. Sons of the father of lies (tares) when we are something else.
Jesus is the only way to the Father. In Him we have access to the Father and are able to live in the Father to become the sons we truly are. None who live in religion, law and performance will ever be themselves. But those for whom Christ is life as a community will nurture and mentor people who are genuine sons and daughters of God. In Jesus you will be who you are.
'As in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive' 1 Cor 15.22 NIV.