Wednesday, February 5, 2020

A Set of Values

Do you ever feel like this world doesn't appreciate you? Like it doesn't understand you? Like it doesn't get what you're trying to do here, or the way that you're trying to do it? There's a reason for that. 

Simply put, you don't fit into its categories.

Paul talks about this when he writes to the Galatian church. He explains that this world is trying to shape you and mold you so that it can brag about your flesh - so that it can put you into its categories and quantify exactly what you are. See, the world can only see in the flesh. It can only see the tangible, physical, visual things that you do and are. That's why it keeps trying to put you in boxes that clearly have labels on them. 

What Paul goes on to say, of course, is that real life is in the Spirit. It's in that realm that isn't quantifiable. It's outside of what can be directly observed and measured. Real life exists in that place without categories, without scales, without labels. 

The world simply won't settle for that. 

You are what you do. You are what you make. You're worth whatever your bank account says. These things have names, numbers. They have positions on the social ladder. You can take any one of them and plug them in right where it goes and know what that means. Black, white, rich, poor, old, young, whatever it is, these things - the world says - matter. And it's what the world is always trying to measure you by. Even all the way back at the beginning of this whole thing, as far back as the church at Galatia. This has always been an issue. 

Let me ask you something. When you read the early chapters of Genesis, who does the Lord give dominion to? Doesn't God bless mankind and give him dominion over all the world? 

Then why on earth have we given the world dominion over us? Why have we given it the power to tell us who we are? 

We are beings made in the image of God, each and every one of us. We are so unique and diverse, each of us revealing something about Him that others may not ever see if they didn't meet us. And yet, together, we do not even come close to encompassing all that He is. Not yet. You could try to put us in categories, but they would be woefully insufficient to capture the glory that is the human being, the human individual being who reflects the glory of the Creator. 

It's what frustrates the world about us, really. There just aren't categories for men; there never have been. Not really. And yet, it's a power struggle. Up to a point, we created this world and then somewhere, we relinquished our power and gave it the opportunity to start creating us. We're starting to feel the pressure. We're starting to understand that it doesn't work that way, but we aren't really fighting back yet. Instead, we're beating ourselves up that we don't "fit" anywhere, that this world just doesn't "get" us, and we're telling ourselves we're doing it "wrong." That there's something "wrong" with us. 

What's wrong with us is that we've given up our dominion and let the world shove us into its boxes of labels and measures when our true life, the real, abundant life that God has given us, doesn't live there. It never has. 

The only thing that's really "wrong" with that the world can't possibly come up with categories to put us in that it can brag about. It can't brag about our flesh because our lives are, and always have been, so much more than that. 

So do you ever feel like this world just doesn't understand you? Good. Give it one less thing to brag about. Because this world did not make you the incredible, awe-inspiring, sacred, holy, God-revealing image of the Creator that you are; He did that. So live your life in the Spirit, where it's always been, and let Him brag on it. 

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