Many of the struggles that we have in life originate in our inaccurate and sometimes erroneous beliefs we have regarding the nature and character of God.
There is also an equally inaccurate, belief regarding the true identity and value of man.
In the book of Psalms David writes:
“When I view and consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained and established, What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of [earthborn] man that You care for him?”
Religion and Legalism
When people are deeply involved in a legalistic, performance-based religion, they invariably end up with little or no sense of identity or self-worth.
Performance-based religion destroys man’s identity, dignity and worth!
We will not be able to experience God in a meaningful way if we aren’t taught a proper biblical sense of identity, based on the truth of the Gospel.
Many believe that being a model Christian or a truly “spiritual believer” is about becoming something other than a human being. We’ve been taught that human beings are evil, weak or deeply unspiritual.
In many ways, spirituality is believed to be about denying, disowning and escaping our humanity through religious legalism and moral discipline. Christians have been encouraged to disown and reject their humanness, and to do everything in their power to reject their human emotions, passions and instincts.
I like what C.S. Lewis said,
“We do not become more spiritual by becoming less human!”
In legalistic, performance-based religion, our worth is earned by rule keeping, good works, moral disciplines and “so called” holy living. And according to this kind of religion, holiness means to deny almost everything to do with being human—staying away from everything that could be fun and having as little as possible to do with people in the world around us!
In this kind of religion, God seems disconnected and contrary to our human desires and dreams. As a result, we struggle to make the connection between who God is and who we are as human beings!
In the minds of so many believers, being human and enjoying life cannot possibly go hand in hand with being spiritual and having a relationship with a holy God!
For many, it is unthinkable that a Holy God would have any connection to our deepest human passions and dreams of enjoying everyday life!
What we don’t realize is that our passion for living and enjoying life is only fully realized when we see the intimate connection we as humans have with a holy God, sharing in His (Zoë) life. It’s in our union with God that the joy of living and the significance of being human is fulfilled!
Unfortunately because of our religiosity and legalism, we’ve become confused and disconnected from knowing and relating to God based upon our human identities. Therefore, we go through life trying to be or become something we’re not.
If we correctly interpret Scripture, especially the New Testament, we find that God’s whole purpose for creating us is to be HUMAN. In the eyes and the economy of God, the very fact that we are HUMAN defines our true identity and worth to God!
“Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God [possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God God], did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained, But stripped Himself [of all privileges and rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being.” —Philippians
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is an emphatic declaration that GOD NOT ONLY LIKES “HUMAN,” HE LOVES “HUMAN” SO MUCH THAT HE ACTUALLY BECAME ONE!!