Sunday, February 19, 2012

5: Allow Yourself To Become The Truth You Profess

In being Primarily Accommodative, Essentially Radiant, our actions are not mere and meaningless. We are what we profess and, by no means, are we perfectly perfect and round. We are also in the making. As we are made, we are to be emanating (and functional). Hence, no one’s actions will be the perfect picture, neither do we have the right to draw the perfect picture we don’t know as a standard to ourselves. As much as we (in the making) are emanating, we also play a part in the making of the people we involve ourselves with in the great awesome plan of God.

Keeping this in mind, it is necessary that we pay attention to ourselves. If we are the vehicle, we are to keep ship-shape. If the vehicle breaks down and does not perform, the mission cannot be carried out. Given that we are in the making and are being perfected by God, it’s not something that’s driven by us. The only place in which our role can possibly come in, is in being sincere and available to that process. In being sincere & available, we are being true to ourselves allowing the growth to happen and allowing ourselves to become wholesome and complete persons of Christ. Not knowing what perfection is, we cannot choose to direct it, decide what we will remain as or where we will remain. We must lend ourselves to perfection, increasing our understanding and seeking to learn more and more.

In the midst of this process, there will be conflict that is mostly internal and it must rage, by all means, and we must be refined. While it rages, we must explore the new directions it gives us and get refined. This internal conflict will project what may be conceived as unchristian behavior, but it is a part of realizing how small we indeed are in all our limited strength. This must be mired in utter sincerity. It is inevitable that the move on up to the next level will be difficult and the value we have for the upgraded life in Christ and its privilege only justifies it. In the meantime, we should keep ourselves open to the correction, understanding and growth that it takes to get there. Fighting it only holds us back from the privilege.

If we are to be what we profess and we are to move on up to the next level, we should allow ourselves to become what we profess at the next level.

4: Recognise the construct

If we are going to be functional, we have to get ourselves a full & proper understanding of the situation we are dealing with, be it one that deals with ourselves or with another. We have to understand what we are working against (or working towards) in order to bring it down (or change it). It is imperative understand the problem fully well so that we are indeed functional enough to end up being of (some) productive good in our effort.

Problems have issues which they are symptoms of, which is where the solution lies. Without solving the issue, we won’t get to solve the problem. We would then be merely symptomatic, if we acted without recognizing this. The first step to doing that is to recognise & understand the issue. We may only advance a bit in easing the load, but we won’t really be effective in progressing much further as the problem will crop up again as a result of the issue that still persists. Something also very important to understand is that the issue is a part of the person and the change that is to happen is to happen in the person primarily.

Everybody (including ourselves) has their own struggles and their own capabilities to deal with them, be it in merely coping with them or actually tackling them. It seems, though it cannot be conclusively said, these struggles actually do make us the people we are supposed to be perfected into (note Matthew 5). We (are to) recognise the perfectness that lies beyond our struggles to be something we are to reach.

It is, but, conclusive to say that it is also necessary to cross that distance in a healthy manner. It is a part of the moulding that makes us into who we are to become. If it is rushed, we may not fully become that. The journey transpired across the struggle must be building of us, and therefore wholesome and complete, if it is to build us completely indeed. To allow that to happen, we must recognise, understand and respect its construct and thereby allow it to grow within its construct.

Being made of a certain construct indicates that we will not able to rise above it on all occasions, however much we try. We can do our best within it to understand it, with the incapabilities that it poses at the given point(s) in time. We sometimes have an inkling of it, and sometimes more of an inkling, of these things – subject to the wisdom that we receive and also subject to the manner in which we use our minds (with the capability that we have been given to).

What should not happen, in all eventuality, is that we bang our heads on an unbreakable wall because we are working against the incapabilities that we really can’t help. We should realise what the best is that we can do, and maybe if we wish attempt to speculate, test and try further – but there is a limit beyond which we really have no hand in.

All of the above said must be mired in sincerity and honesty. Using any of it as an excuse to, out of insincerity, say that we can’t cross it is something that eventually turns around and hits each one of us on, if that is indeed what we do. If we see an image of the perfection that we must be close to (or exactly at), we must work towards it believing that in the process perfection will be worked in us.

3: Question its functionality

Our actions are mired with our own experiences and joys from knowing the Truth, which we then share, but only after experiencing them ourselves. And when we share them, we always include our own takes on the matter, as our experiences dictate. We don't always share it in a completely detached way and we can't really share it in a detached way since it is so close to our hearts indeed.

In doing so, we aren't always emanating and functional. Lost in the mire of our own excitement and joy of sharing, it is very easy to have our love lose its functionality in purpose when offered out. We can very easily seem to think that our deeds are of such a nature when what we are indeed doing is solely keeping up the excitement in our own lives.

It may just be one that serves and achieves its own purpose. The only way to check them is to look at our works, as they be, and consider their utility value – as if they were apersonal actions, as if we did those things with absolutely nothing to gain from them. We must evaluate them for the utility value, for it is their utility value that defines their function and the nature of their function best.

Such a test which shows whether it is one that is always moving forward, growing, desirous, outreaching, helping, seeking and such would be to take our ways and add them up in terms of their resultant effect. At the end of the day, what is achieved? Does it achieve such a purpose? Or do we solely serve our own psyche?

The best way to do that is to remove the personal implications from the truth we present and offer, for the sake of evaluation, and then look to see if we are indeed helping the other person. Do this and not let the response, especially the one that we want to see, be a factor in how we offer or whether we offer it or not for that matter. If we expect only the response that we expect, we are not really doing it for them but for us as well, since that is going to determine whether we offer it and how we offer it.

But, it is impossible to completely detach our implications from what we do. If we do that, we wouldn't even be able to even offer it. It would have no meaning and we would have no reason to offer it. So, there must be a balance between the two when it is not meaningless (then it can't be offered at all) and when it completely places the choice to take and use to the one we offer it to. It is difficult to do both - hanging around and offering it anyway until the person wants to take it but hey! that's the only way you really offer love that has only the other person in mind. If it is indeed what it is worth taking, it will come to use to the person when they need to use it. When the person realises that they need it, it will always be there to take it.

Similarly when we deal with ourselves, we should question its functionality as well. Do our ways when we deal with ourselves really add up to something when detach them from our attachment to them? If we were to apersonalise the way we deal with ourselves, what will those steps add up to? Where do they lead to indeed? This comes down to the content value of what we do. What is it that they indeed profess? What kind of lives do they make us lead? What lives to we indeed lead in the process, depending on whether we follow them or not? What does it eventually break down to? If we were to evaluate this, what would be the end sum result? Is all our attachment to nothing of any good that we can speak of? If its content value cannot speak of anything worthy, what is it that we allow ourselves to get attached to? Is it a mere psyche pleasing exercise or is it really something of some worth?

2: Does it hold good to itself, to start with at least?

The truth that runs our lives, what we believe indeed, are not mere stands we choose to have, arbitrarily. It is very much our choice to choose to believe them. If it defeats its own purpose, it has no functional value and is a dud. For it to be valid, it must hold good to itself as a primary principle that we are to follow. To be functional, it must serve an end. This may not always be a well round and defined purpose but it always will serve an end. It will, however, not be a pointless exercise.

Now everything, whether it serves the psyche solely or not, serves an end. If this end indeed is our psyche (read the narcissistic God that we worship) or an end that is indeed emanating and functional is the what the question is. The other question to ask is if the purpose is self defeating. What does the whole exercise amount to in the end, in total independence? What is the takeaway at the end of it all? Is someone or something served if it/they are in need? Of what consequence is it? Or are we just trading psyche-pleasing experiences and going around in circles?

We either have...

1) something to give
2) something to take
3) a bit of both, which is usually the case.

Whichever be the case, we either...

1) confidently know what we do know indeed to offer it
2) seek out of need, desire, want and/or incompleteness
3) do both of these – offering what we know and seeking what we don't the process, leaving our understanding open to correction.

When we add all of this up, what is the picture that our understanding creates? Is it one that works against itself?

At the end of it all, do we...

1) learn something indeed
2) be of help someone who needed it
3) overall come out of the experience, with more with us because we were helped and we learnt AND have sufficed someone's need, both at the same time

When we indulge in our lifestyle and corporate worship, we do it knowingly, whether we understand it or not. We choose to worship, however worthy of God our worship indeed is. If it does not adhere to a construct that is always moving forward, growing, desirous, outreaching, helping, seeking and such, it is only one that runs in a circle. If so, it only pleases ourselves and our psyches and is as less worthy of God. We are exactly in the same spot that we were at the last time we worshipped, something we fight and defend to stay at-only ending up a serving a God who amounts to being narcissistic. What we are indeed doing is serving our senses and, indeed, not our non-narcissistic God who wants us to be emanating and functional with His love that we carry in us.

1: You Are Not Your Own

Knowing God in all His awesomeness makes us want to praise Him more. Indeed. This is our act of worship, either personal or corporate. When we do that, we put Him on a pedestal giving Him the honour and praise that we believe He deserves. That is something that is primarily symbolic of where we stand in our journey with God at the point in time. I say this because we cannot really fully know God in all His awesomeness. We can only know how much of Him he reveals to us. That is also dependent to some extent on how close our walk with Him is.

Moreover, it is not something we are capable of, neither is it something that is critical that we do. God already is on that pedestal before all existence ever was, a million times higher than we can probably ever imagine. It is certainly not up to us to keep Him on that pedestal, neither can we really know it in its entirety to give Him all the glory that He actually deserves. It would be completely narcissistic of him to require that of us. We do not worship a simply egotistic God. If we do, we worship a God with some serious issues of insecurity, surely not the rock we stand upon.

This putting-Him-on-a-pedestal must be only symbolic, and nothing more. Call it default worship, if you will. That doesn’t make it any less glorious an offering to Him than it is. It is simply differentiates it from our primary worship which is our active walking talking worship. If our primary worship were to be our default worship, then it would be only active talking worship as opposed to an active walking talking worship. It would then be something VERY irrelevant and extremely meaningless even to us who practice it. As a matter of fact, it would, at the least, not even be practice worthy.

We are to be functional Christians extending that relationship with God into our lives and out from lives onto the rest of the world, and not simply continuously pay obeisance to God. Our purpose is NOT to primarily continuously tell God how great He is. He knows that more than you can ever know. It is, but, to tell the world how great God is because that same great God is at work in our lives. It’s an all-in-one process. None of these elements can be separated from the others.

Now there’s a slight problem here. The PSYCHE. The psyche likes to be pleased. What the psyche wants, the psyche gets. If the psyche needs to be satisfied, no manner of satisfaction is wrong. The psyche is THE MAN, by all means, apparently. When the prime preoccupation of our worship is the grand manner of God’s ways to us and in our life, with an absence of the dissipation of those ways into our lives and into our living, only the psyche is pleased. The sole purpose of God’s work is not solely for our blessing and our benefit. We are NOT our own. Stopping at His work in our lives and not letting it work in us and go forward through us only ends being a service to ourself and psyche and is not worthy of the joy it gives. We do NOT let God work with us in action, when the only the psyche is pleased. We are not meant to simply comment on his awesomeness but BE his awesomeness so that others can SEE his awesomeness. That means a lot less awe in words and lot more someness in resulting action.

Yes, we will be the fruit of what we are rooted in, but that comes along with a mind that is in our control. If we choose to allow the psyche to take over and be a non-thinking mind, we will only end up serving it. If all we do is only all talk of how great He is by His works towards us, insisting that it is all important, as if they were works primarily and solely for our benefit, there is no be of how great He indeed is with absolutely no relevance to us and therefore no seen impact on the people around us.

We have to check our ways and get over the fact that God has done what He has done for us and go on and allow it to dissipate into our lives and living. God is indeed awesome, much awesomer than the last awesome thing that He just did. If you don't think your God is awesome in the first place, you, first of all, need to expect lots more. Maybe not awesome by your exact standards but awesome, none the less. Leave the jusification of that upto Him. Going over ga-ga and not getting over his awesomeness keeps you a non-functional Christian. He is not that God only to you, but also to other people for whom you are a vehicle of Him.

Expect God to be perfectly God, which means God is as likely to surprise you with his awesomeness as likely as the journey may not turn out to be that surprising. Keeping in mind that what you get is only what you have to live and must give out. Get over it and wait for him to do it all over again. Remember that you are solely SO NOT the point.

Are you primarily accommodative or essentially radiant?

To be or not to be, that is the question indeed. The virtue of a life in Christ is much decided by what of the above two we are – primarily accommodative or essentially radiant. Note the adjectives primarily and essentially. We, at all times, are a bit of both. Being the latter is progressive from being the former. The question is in which category we are now.

To be essentially radiant, we need to have something to be radiant of. Our cup has to be filled by the Lord in order to actually over flow. We have to allow that filling to happen. Rather, we must accommodate because without it, it is impossible to even be essentially radiant, because we will be then be radiant of nothing. Note John 15: 4-5.

Being primarily accommodative, on the other hand, is a state in which we seek our own selves – both with full intention or without knowing it (but end up doing it, none the less). Like already mentioned, there are needs, both sincere and necessary. The importance of these needs which we are accommodative of, in either case, present themselves and are some things we can’t deny. Needs that are necessary, just are by virtue of being so.

There is no objective line to draw before which the need is sincere and beyond which it is not. Sincerity cannot be taught. On the other hand, it can be seen and recognised. It can be said, with dispute (do tell what you have to say on the matter), that our sincerity lies towards the direction the heart tends. Someone asking that they be accommodated in a manner they demand, everything else regardless, is not sincere if they consider that more important than being available to be where God would have them be. At best, a sincere heart will not cause a legalistic argument to be accommodated. It will trust the Lord and choose to be where the Lord would have it be and radiate. Note Luke 9:23-24, Heb 5: 12-14, Matthew 6: 24-34.

Now there are two levels to this principle. The first one is at the level of our intended approach. If we approach our every moment of life towards being the former, primarily accommodative, we do not allow our cup to overflow and let our light shine. If we are essentially radiant, we do that. Note Matthew 5:13-16.

The other approach is in our efforts to do what God would have us do, which category do we come under? Do we end up being primarily accommodative, despite our efforts to be essentially radiant? The best way to look at this is from an outside analysis of our efforts and matching the results. The link between the intention and the result is lost when the psyche takes over the actions and there no more exists a connect between our intentions and our actions. We stop thinking and doing but we constantly seek that emotional high, understandably. That's why we must see if our actions, at the end of the day, are right and are representative and intune with our intentions - breaking it down to the last detail of what they represent. Note I Thessalonians 5:21. One of the main qualities of being essentially radiant is never giving up hope, with love. Note Revelations 3:20, I Corinthians 13.

Therefore then, let us ask the question: are we primarily accommodative or essentially radiant and work towards being the latter. Note Hebrews 5:12-14.