EYES THAT SEE WHAT IS REAL
You are blessed if you can engage in contemplation. Some are natural contemplatives. Others have made a discipline of it. Some never do it, not always because it is not in them but because they are too inert to enlarge on what they already know and are glued so much to what they choose to believe - about life and about themselves. Humble reflection on the nature of ourselves benefits our character and our quality of life #.
I have been with people who have no inner life. Unable to listen to themselves they seem unable to listen to anyone else. They fear being informed by those who know because they might have to change their ideas. As insensitive as a stone they expound their sterile ideas ad nauseum, are the bore in every room and as ignorant as they are voluble. The uneducated and unintelligent in this category are boof-heads. The educated and middle class are bores.*
These bores are the bane of many Christmas family gatherings and a misery to be with on church boards.
WORKER NOT SON
Everyone is capable of some reflection. Not to engage in reflection in some degree, is to render ourselves horse like or worse – a robot who has no life outside constant activity.
Years ago a woman in Caroline Jones’ book, The Search for Meaning’ observed that she lived a busy life and that when she got home she found that there was no one there. She was saying she had no inner life. Maybe. But this realisation was the start of her getting a real self.
Despite their positive self-image, some folks have no real self. They have this false self that they have constructed from the materials that they used to build the carapace that they think is their identity. As Jesus said to Bill Smith, ‘What have you been doing?’ Bill listed his achievements at the end of which Jesus smiled and said, ‘ Yes, but what progress have you made in being yourself?’
You will learn a lot with genuine humility. Especially if you shut-up, listen and ask questions.
A REAL IDENTITY
If Christ is your life as distinct from Christianity being your life you will discover the real you and become who you actually are with a real identity. This is the identity that was seen by Christ before time began and which you have been pre-destined to enter if you are astute enough to live Christ instead of religion.
Perceptive people will recognise that the false self/true self syndrome is the not born again/ authentically born again life. Born again is embracing the union with God that is already yours.
Being born again is not moralism. It’s not abandoning some bad deeds and embracing some good ones. It’s not selectively attaching to a denominational icon as a false grace. Born again is union with God. Born again is our growing life in union with God – the union that is already ours. Many Christians have not been born again and are still living in the separation of the fall; a separation that in many instances has been made into a religious culture.
‘Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again’ John 3.3 NIV. Without a genuine re-birth it is difficult to see anything let alone the real self.
Religious piety is not real life or real holiness. It is never the real you and always a false self. That’s why pious people are so irritating to be with. The illusion the pious person lives is that she is honouring God and being ‘Christ-like’ by her pious living.’ Sadly this kind of piety is an affront to genuine Godliness and a severe warping of the image of God in you.
# But not if our religious culture is a branch of Capitalism.
* The end result of the self-made-man culture is the caricature of a person that is a Donald Trump. Laud this kind of culture and you will get this kind of leaders – full of huff and puff and entirely empty.