-If I am to know myself in a way that leads to spiritual and emotional health I must be willing to see myself and the world with an honesty that is frank and borders on brutality.
In my day I have been responsible for raising lots of money. I hated doing it because I was often tempted to allow myself to be a class “A” bullshitter. The trouble is i am very good at BS. [There my be some people reading this who hate the word bullshit. To them I remind them that the apostle Paul said that he counted his own righteousness as dung. Dung is bullshit.]
When I say honest I am not only talking about honesty as it applies to money and to not lying. Those things are included of course but I mean more than that. I am talking about fearlessly accepting the reality of the evil in myself and fearlessly looking at and accepting the world as it really is and also fearlessly looking at myself asking God to reveal the truth about myself.
-When I began to learn how to be truly honest two things really surprised me. The first is that God sees me as His beloved child. When my two daughters entered Middle School they went out for the basketball team. That was good news for me. I loved the idea of watching them be members of the team. I took off work to see them play. I thought they did really well. When we got home we went to our driveway hoop. The girls were pretty tall so I taught them to block out the other team members with their bodies after every shot someone else took. That way they could could rebound the ball and get a shot for themselves right under the basket. When I showed them how to blockout in order to get a rebound I was in no way criticizing them. In fact, I was nearly bursting with pride. I just wanted to show them a way they they could be even better.
In a similar way, in order to start being honest I had to begin to accept God’s view of me as the truth about me. God said of Jesus “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.God says the same thing about each of us. We are his beloved sons in whom he is well pleased.
Whenever I catch a glimpse of God’s astounding grace it scares me. I feel afraid that I am being blasphemous. I feel like I am taking honor that is only due to Jesus. ST. John says, “Behold what manner of love is this that we should be called the sons of God.” I am sure that the first time John said that he whisper it. I am myself whispering this myself as I write this. My problem is not that I am taking too much grace it is that when I think about grace I am a small time piker.
I the New Testament book of Romans St. Paul says “I beseech you brethren by the mercies of God to present yourselves a living sacrifice. That is an ancient way of saying something very important. It is the second thing that surprised me when I asked God to help me take a fearless look at myself and my world.
Before I try to present myself as a living sacrifice I have to come to a deep understanding of God’s unlimited grace. The beginning point of this scripture is “The mercies of God.”. If I am to give myself to God I must do it on the basis of God’s mercy.
If I try to give myself to God on the basis of God’s righteousness I would be frozen emotionally because I am so painfully aware of my shortcomings. If I try to present myself to God on the basis of God’s justice, I would be terrified because of my injustice. Any other aspect of God like his holiness or god’s wrath would profoundly hinder open confession on my part.
If I become aware of God’s love and start there I could if I chose to be open with God and other human beings. To be transparent I must understand that I am powerless over God’s love. God loves me the same on my worst day as he does on my best day. I learned of God’s love by surrounding myself with people who love me without judgement and can be trusted to protect my anonymity. I found those people in my family and in my program
e sons of God