Words of Grace
I remember a statement in math class that went something like this: “The whole is equal to the sum of its parts.” That probably works for math, but it isn’t true in life. Fittingly, the first recorded challenge to that statement came from a philosopher, Aristotle. Philosophy has always understood that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
You and I are more than what we have done or what we have gathered into our lives. There is something about every individual that is separate from everything in this world. There is an identity greater than our parts.
In other words, I am not a collection of the things I have associated with or the things I have done or even the things I have thought. I am me. I am a person, an individual. I surround myself with decorations, but I am still me. The organizations or people with whom I associate are not me. The places of my life are not me. The activities with which I fill my life, or which I have done in the past, are not me. Even my family is not me.
To the world I say: When you look at me and judge my clothing or my connections or my home or any of my other adornments, you are not yet seeing me. Yes, I may have chosen some of these things in my desire to express myself; but they are just things I like or use, not me.
And to my own heart I say: There is One who loves me, the real me, and He knows me personally. Jesus doesn’t love me because I dress a certain way or go to a certain church or perform a certain service; He just loves me. When I do something wrong, whether sin or mistake, He still loves me. He looks past all my coverings and sees my heart. He loves me.
6 responses to “I am me!”
Pastor Dave, this one means a lot to me, because I have always been judged by appearances. It seems to be a particularly bad failing of the people here to focus on the superficial, to purposefully avoid scarry intangibles.
Thanks for pointing us back to an identity with Christ! It is hard to be judged, but much harder to go at life without any of the spiritual riches from undertanding His Love.
There is a verse in Corinthians which says, “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” I’ve always loved this verse because of the promise it holds for those who believe.
I think one of the best parts of life with Jesus is that not only is He continually revealing Himself to us bit by bit as we grow in understanding, He is also revealing US to us, a little bit at a time, until one day, in the fullness of time, we can present ourselves to Him as we were always meant to be. 🙂
Jenni. Thank you. How encouraging are these words. “In the fullness of time, we can present ourselves to Him as we were always meant to be”! Bless you.
“He looks past all my coverings and sees my heart”. There is the dilemma for me for the Christians who support my ex who says he is a Christian. Your previous discussions regarding evil were great. One of his female friends told me he “had a good heart” and “there’s all different sorts of Christians”. Her husband was the Pastor who married us and the one who bailed his “mate” out of Jail for serious gun charges. Not holding him accountable for his violence or law breaking. Not just violent to me either. Jesus sees “the truth of our heart”. Some people appear to us to be evil in both action and heart. Yet I don’t know that people are born evil. I wonder then, if Jesus loves us all as He sees our heart, then how can he love the evil heart of these Monsters? My therapist said he fitted the description of a Psychopath not a Narcissist as he usually had a grin on his face when he hurt me or goaded me. In other words he enjoyed inflicting the pain. I am a Psychogist and find it hard to come to grips with the fact that recidivism for these men is extremely high, yet many need treatment and healing. Is it that their hearts are so hardened that even Jesus can’t get through? Why is it that some people can have horrendous childhood-hoods but DONT turn into perpetrators of violence? We still dont know the answer. However Neuro Psychology is showing good progress through MRI and PET scans, the brain changes and effects on psychological development which occur across the first 18 yrs of development. They can see which part is switched off and not developing eg impulse control. They also look at types of therapeutic intervention, which isn’t promising for these hardened liars. I guess the problem is the denial of the Perpetrator. They don’t seek help as they don’t see themselves as in the wrong. They are so clever at grooming the community and that’s why, I believe, the Church becomes their alibi. Then where does that leave me and many like me, when people say Jesus loves them as he sees their heart. Jesus died for all. I believe it breaks His heart when He looks into their heart and sees the blackness. Some people do align themselves with evil. The Bible says “He shook the dust off His feet”. He turned His back and walked away. “Watch out for false prophets”. “By their fruits you will recognise them”. The Bible says Matt: 7:21 “Not everyone who says to Me Lord Lord will enter the Kingdom of Heaven ……. I will tell them plainly, “I never knew you. Away from me you evildoers!” New Testament teaching. One of the problems I experienced in Grace ministry style church I attended with him was the Ministry that accepts the Offender without scriptural accountability. Jesus DOES see the black heart and turn away from the person. The Church needs to be tougher in it’s dealing with Offenders eg sex offenders, Domestic violence offenders etc. It is extremely damaging to the victim when they don’t. I not only left that Church and eventually moved away but he is still there being supported while he continues to groom the Church and community enabling him to move on to his next victim. Happily I am now 600km away from him and those people who judged me and loved him through Grace (where was my Grace). Now I am in a new home new environment and my new Church loves us but holds us accountable when we live outside His clear and loving boundaries. I feel safe physically but the spiritual damage takes awhile to heal completely. Your Posts have helped me get around some of these spiritual challenges, encouraging me to really look at these issues with Him and my Bible and prayer. Thankyou for having the courage and love to do this. I’m in Australia and my on-line Christian support and knowledge comes from over the sea!! Thankyou again.
Anne, I’m so glad to hear you are searching Scripture for yourself! In any country it can be hard to find support and godly knowledge, as even the core truths of the Bible are being warped by mankind. You experienced spiritual abuse, just as I have, which is the furthest thing from His Love.
A friend who is searching daily for Him in even the small things can be Such an encouragement. Do you have a source for spiritual support nearby? I Love reading Aussie Danielle Carey blogspot, because she talks about how living her faith effects her life in everyday ways. So, I’ve been deeply encouraged from your side of the sea too. She is a very sharing person about booklists!
My best to you as you whole heartedly seek God’s truth!
Thank you Unforsaken. Yes I have support through my new Church which is part of the worldwide 3C (Christian City Church). I belong to a Prophetic Prayer Group and a women’s home group. They have been wonderful in embracing me and my story as many of them also have their stories. Thank you for the Aussie Blog…. I will seek it out. I will eventually have my own website and blog as I am a Registered Psychologist. I just need to check out the ethical standards for Internet I was invited to prepare for, and lead, our Women’s Connect Group last night. I was so humbled and felt His love and joy! “Annie, you are back! I love you and I trust you!” The first time in years I’ve been trusted to do this ……and I’m relatively new. I have heaps of experience both in the church and secular world, but have been denied my calling. The previous Church, far away now, assisted in crushing my Spirit further but no-one could crush Jesus out of my heart. I’m back and as Katey Perry sings “Hear Me Roar”.