Monday, March 19, 2012

Reflection for the Week

Capital ‘I’, the attempt to be our own ultimate authority, is often thought to only be an expression of “I know it all.” But this is not true. The claim “I know nothing” is equally a declaration of capital ‘I.’ Let’s take another matter. Capital ‘I’ is not just “I’m the best” but also “I’m the worst” or “I’m important” but also ‘I’m worthless.” Christians are called to die to self, but the question remains, which self. Self-dying is a death to capital ‘I’, to a false self, not a denigrating of self, who is an image of God. What is essential is the continual giving up of the ways of self-mastery, self-authority, self-centeredness, and self-determination, rather than embracing how incredible or awful we think we are. There is only one you and that’s who God loves and wants to redeem from attempts to be capital ‘I’ in all its deceptive forms.


reneamac said...

I love this, Greg. I think we could benefit here with some articulation as to what loving the true (image-bearing) self looks like and how it looks similar to, yet different from, "embracing how incredible" we think our false self is.

Maybe a question for Cafe ZZ.

PS. Been loving the pics you're posting too!

Greg said...

Thanks. Yes, we could. I'm wondering if you might have something in mind.

One articulation of loving the true image bearing self would be to embrace God's love for humanity. A second would be to accept that we are creatures of deep complexity and wonder. Such an act of love could be similar to, yet different from Capital 'I', depending on the context within which one views and perceives oneself. The incredible beings that we are may result in a self being an end in and of itself (ultimately unloving), instead of acknowledging the source of the self coming from the Creator God (ultimately loving). So, in speaking of truer and falser selves, it seems appropriate to raise the issue of true and false love.