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.