Christian Self Esteem

More about the core self, because that post, ‘The Best of Me‘ needs clarification and more thinking. The idea that we get wrong ideas, and then perpetuate them, about who we really are has been one of those swirling, vague, and just out of reach concepts for me. The light just dawning as I enter my sunset season.

I don’t mourn my late entry into this concept since enlightenment has its own time and sequence. We try to find it early in our lives, but our culture, or our own wills, -a number of things, really- , intervene. In terms of eternity, perhaps the important thing is to get it at sometime while we can still do something about adding to the cultural consciousness of it.

We sometimes see Christian doctrine as a static thing. And we are so tainted by modern ideas of what evolution is, that we resist the idea that Christian revelation is at all organic. Simply because our view is that evolution means transposing, when in Christian revelation it is a widening of the vision. “Here a little, there a little, line upon line” until a clearer vision of truth is evident.

“Who am I?” takes a different track… to “Does anyone know me?”, even myself? It is the “Message in a Bottle” transit from feeling alone, and that no one knows me, to understanding that we are all in the same basic situation.
A human condition. But to end there, with that “Message” is to be somewhat despairing, if one really understands the message to begin with.

The more we discover who we are… and what is true of humanity… the more despair grabs hold of us. It gets to the point that the platitudes no longer provide the emollient that they once have. “We are only human”…
Perhaps that is why God takes time to send His message that He does know us, in ways that we find hard to imagine.
Take these for example:
Jeremiah 1:5
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you”
Psalm 139:13
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”
Isaiah 49:5
“And now the LORD says— he who formed me in the womb to be his servant to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to himself, for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD …”

The bottle gets found, the response is there… but we never leave our island, we never even look to see if we are truly on an island. That famous little maxim comes to mind: “No man is an island”*, yet we all have a tendency to feel so, especially in this disjointed post modern world. Until, through interjection of revelation, through driven to despair, or by happy chance.. or grace… we find a reality far from the lies we were told, or that we chose to believe.

This is the beginning of Christian Self esteem. To see what God’s image was meant to look like, what we were meant to look like… to be. It is a beautiful picture of worth and value, of fruit and music, of kindness, goodness, self-control, faithfulness, joyfulness… a realization of paradise within.

How do we catch that view?
Certainly it can’t be until we throw off the old one.

Matthew 10:39
Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Notes*
John Donne, Meditation XVII

In The Urban Garden

David Loftus:

I knew going in that my efforts would probably be wasted. It was what the existentialists call an “acte gratuite” — a choice to act in the face of a foreordained doom.

…In a world full of powerful interests hoping to make us all into consumers and spectators, it’s essential to act and speak.

Otherwise, you’re not learning and growing; you’re just opening your mouth for someone else’s spoons.

Tillers Death: The Aftermath

The debate and discussion over this is rising to a buzz of deafening proportions. It gets hard to think when that happens. Dr. Tiller, an abortionist, killed recently, is thought to have been shot because of his high profile as an abortion practitioner and advocate.

One of the reactions:“They’re killing doctors.” by Aeron Haynie who uses the news event to create her own theory of why women don’t openly share their abortion stories as she elects to do in her post. Her most compelling take from her abortion is “I remember feeling relief that I had my body back, my life back”. In a sense, she has never moved beyond her teenage aspect of abortion, her relief to be on with her life unencumbered by that child-product. Not that I fault her personally, in that. We, all, when faced with traumatic events stay within the framework of our vivid reliving of it from the experience of the moment, including our mind and circumstances of the time. But as someone who speaks about an ethical issue and about broad implications for society, in that I fault her for using only her subjective teenage set of morals and values.

Anotherthink plays a bit of devil’s advocate with his reaction:
“Is it legitimate to suggest that there is a moral equivalency between Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s violent opposition to Adolf Hitler and the recent cold-blooded assassination of doctor George Tiller, the unapologetic abortionist?” I weighed in with “No”.
my comment:

Hitler as the head of state and demi-god of the Nazi regime created the temptation of ridding an entire society, indeed the whole world, of a perpetrator of crimes against humanity with his assassination. The killing of a single doctor in the machinery of the abortion industry does nothing good for anyone. Not for the pro-life cause, not for the future of babies, not for society. It is simply another murder.

When you take the high ground, in such arenas as being pro-life and other issues which seek to protect human life and support the aspect of human dignity, you are not allowed the privilege of abrogating that. Not even once. At the point at which you do, you leave the high ground and join the scuffle of each man for himself, and each judging good and evil in their own eyes. All support for ethical and moral good is then lost.

That is the tragedy of this murder: the lines were blurred in the eyes of all involved as to what steps we must take to honor life and human dignity and rights to exist. Which belong to all, even slimy abortion doctors who are advanced and protected by our laws and government.

The great power of a government based upon law is its objectivity. It might be infuriating to some to see such a person weasel out of justice and even regulation meant to protect others rights. But the law is in place to protect against an individuals fury against another individual, or making an individual pay for something that truly find causation in a social inequity, not in the person who uses that inequity to his advantage or to promote his own moral view. If Dr. Tiller used his rights to further endorse and promote abortions, and sidestepped controls on his actions [Tiller was charged with 19 misdemeanors alleging he failed to obtain the required second opinion from an independent physician that a late-term abortion is necessary.]

Efforts should be redoubled in the struggle to ensure the good of society and individuals with a reasonably high standard of morality. We need to patiently example and speak for an acceptance of the view that people have dignity and have certain rights connected with that dignity. We need to work more diligently to apply pressure to our lawgivers to support that view with appropriate legislation and rulings. We need to apply our moral and ethical standards without deviation in our lives and actions. We need to speak and put ourselves on the line to that purpose.

It is a tall order. But one we must attempt to fill.