By Rev. Chip Edens
Our scriptures today are inviting us to consider what it means to grow in our relationship with God. It’s tempting to think that being Christian is simply a matter of believing or not believing. The fundamental question though is not merely “What do I believe?” The real question is “How do I live now that I believe?”
I remember early on when I was new to the faith, I felt a subtle form of performance anxiety about being a Christian. I thought by being a Christian I must do “all the right things.” As a result, there were seasons in my life when I felt guilty and unworthy. One of the great gifts the Proverbs offers us is they remind us that we are human – that it is even a gift to be human. Trying to be anything else is self-defeating. “The wisdom of the sensible is to understand his way.” (Prov.14:8)
“But the Lord is our refuge” writes the psalmist. As our refuge, God pulls us back from the temptation to think we must be perfect. Instead, God’s desire is to use us, our brokenness as well as our gifts, to teach us how to love. God’s desire is not that we live a flawless life, but a life of compassion, generosity, and obedience. One translation of the word obedience actually means to live “from the heart.” I love the image of a person mindful of their humanity, living a generous, wholehearted life.
Ephesians invites us to consider the call to “no longer be children” but to “grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ.” As you consider this awesome call, remember that the real test is not whether or not you become perfect. The real test is whether or not you are willing to let God work within and through your humanity to share the light of his love with this world.
What do you think it means to live your life as a Christian?
Do you see your past as an obstacle to being a vessel of God’s grace?
Have you ever considered your brokenness to be the gift through which God can work to allow you to understand and embrace others?
God, you have created us in your image. Help us to see our humanity as a gift. In the humility, help us to share with others the good news of your grace, forgiveness, and love.
Rev. Chip Edens is Rector of Christ Episcopal Church in Charlotte, North Carolina