Redefining ourselves doesn't always include a brand new definition. We change quite a bit, but our passions tend to remain the same. However, that becomes increasingly deceitful without recognition that our passions lure us into a life we no longer desire to live. Faith is not a belief that, in Christ, we will not endure pain in this world, and peace without the presence of Christ is merely the feeling that everyone in our community supports our opinions.
A haughty spirit is lighter fluid to a fire of destruction. Slowly it leaks into every aspect of our lives and enables us to feel superiority. It is a slow, painful death as we watch the statue of self-righteousness erode as the character we present to the world fades into the distance as our audience ceases to find interesting our gimmicks. Drama and comedy are interrelated because they are an accurate depiction of who we are: Broken and lost, but foolish enough to believe there is some substantive thing that will provide validation.
The idea that we need to find what we love to do to make us happy is a prescription of self-loathing. Even if our passion provides a link between decades, it does not rise above father time. One day we will look at a decrepit reflection that no longer radiates the glow of potential. What will we lean on then? Good looks and superiority will fade over time as we relentlessly pursue something that shows we are worthy. But may those three nails pierce the insecurity that makes feeble attempts to validate us through the means of the world.
What grace God has shown to illuminate how what once defined me would flee at some point in my life. Deep down we acknowledge that what we want in this world is always trying to flee. We job hunt, house hunt, pursue a degree, are on the prowl for a companion, and chase after financial security. Even as our body turns against our desires, the things we long for runs in the opposite direction.
We chase down new opportunities to forget the pain that cripples our past. Pain slowly fades in the distance, but rarely does it go away. So why does God command us to forgive? Because He longs to show how much better He is than us? Perhaps. There is no denying the truth of God's superiority. But our deep-rooted bitterness is an infected wound that will never be cured. We can attack the knife that made the wound, but that doesn't fix our problem.
Unforgiveness does not hurt the person against whom we hold a grudge. We are prisoners of our own delusion. Why does God ask us to settle disputes between brothers before coming to the altar? It is simple. We cannot devote ourselves to God when we also pursue revenge against the guilty. How can our life be devoted to God when we hope to see the eye from which the guilty stripped from us be removed from them? You can put a murderer in a chair, but you can't kill the pain that persists. Only forgiveness puts our life back in motion.
We follow God, not because we have to, but because we trust Him. Contrary to a dog that returns to its vomit, a dog that follows His master is wise beyond its years. Scratching at the door, we long to break free of the prison of safety and eternity only to sprint into the street and be run over by a car. How hypocritical it is to scoff at the dog that is hit by the car when we crawl in bed with the partner we didn't marry, only to remind God we don't believe in His design for marriage.
Community binds us together in love beyond our brokenness, though the community that ignores the gospel is set to perish. Especially those that claim the gospel but ignore the pursuit. Ready we are to walk hand and hand toward persecution because beyond its veil is the resurrection. No longer turning to our former self or worrying about who we could be. Together we walk toward eternity, by persevering today.
We lean on His word. We repent of our sins. We armor up for battle and trust in our fortress. Today is the day to be validated in Him.