Sunday, July 17, 2016

Are We Broken? #JesusFollowers

Are we broken people? Are human beings born broken, or did we get that way later on? Are we capable of doing good things, or are we doomed to go through life broken, and alone?

Our experience tells us that we aren't complete, that our lives aren't all they should be. Our intuition tells us that we need to be seeking that completeness. That is a sign that we aren't fully broken, but are built to seek something better.

Our lives often seem to be broken images of what we should be. We don't seek after goals because we don't have perfect goals in front of us. We are often shaken and damaged by our circumstances, and our reaction to our struggles, frankly, is often to retreat inside ourselves and hide.

Some claim that we are born unable to seek the goodness. But our hearts tell us that we should seek it, that we must seek it, and that we are able to do it, because God created us able to do it. (Deut. 30:14)

God is complete. We know that we're not God, but we know that God is also within us, a part of what we ARE, urging us to seek Godliness in our lives.

God chose a spokesman, Jesus, who was human, exactly as we are. God chose this human being to be our example in all things, teaching us how to become complete, as God wishes us to be.

Jesus says for us to be perfectly mature and complete, just as God is perfectly mature and complete. (Matt. 5:48) Those are powerful words, and the fact that he spoke them to fellow human beings means that this is what we can do. Especially when Jesus says that he does everything God wishes him to do, and that WE, TOO, can do all that Jesus did.

This is remarkable and amazing news, since it tells us that those promptings of the heart and mind to seek God are real.

It tells us that those promptings are legitimate, and true, and that we are capable of turning to God and seeking God's perfection in our lives.

Perfection doesn't mean we all should seek to look alike, or that we must be able do every mundane task perfectly, without mistakes. It doesn't mean we get to brag about being 'perfect' to others, because this alone shows we haven't achieved it. And we can't achieve perfection by simply saying that we've achieved it, or by re-defining it as an object we can claim by our words alone.

It also doesn't mean that we are going to be perfect TODAY, or that we won't continue to miss the mark - that high goal that Jesus set for us.

But it does mean that we have hope. If Jesus did it, and he was human like us, that truly means that we can do it, too! It means that we aren't doomed to be mediocre, or halfway human. It means that to be human means to seek after Godliness.

At its core, the Good News that Jesus taught was that we can turn to God and find a better, more whole and complete way of living by seeking not our own gratification, but seeking the welfare and wholeness of those around us.

Service to others completes us. Loving those who need love brings us the purpose and completeness we've been seeking on our own.

And just as God chose Jesus at his baptism to be God's spokesman on earth, God seeks us to be baptized and spread this Good News to others throughout the earth.

To seek this way means to build up God's Kingdom right here on earth. It means we recognize our true nature and that we find our purpose in this life: to love God with all our hearts, minds, soul and strength and understanding, and love and serve our neighbors as ourselves. Eternal life with God begins now, in obedience to Jesus' teachings.

Those who are seeking to become more perfect and mature are called upon to help others join them. That is the Church. The Church that Jesus established is most basically an organization to build more mature and perfected people, so that we may serve others and bring wholeness to others - and that is the only message Jesus taught us.

Any message that adds to this basic one doesn't build the Kingdom, but instead builds individual 'kingdoms' of men, and the only person we must hear is the one who was chosen by God to teach us how to live: Jesus.

So, let us embrace this message and let others know this Good News about our brokenness: we were not born broken, and we can seek to be perfectly whole in Jesus' example!

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