Sunday, January 09, 2011

Evolution

By Belinda
Readers have probably noticed that my posts have been sporadic of late. I used to schedule them at 12.01 a.m. precisely and readers could count on one waiting in the morning unless a major disaster had occurred or I couldn't get to a computer (which to me amounts to the same thing.)

But there are temptations to post for the wrong reasons. Bloggers get affirmation from comments and the number of people who "follow" or read our posts and it's not so easy to unravel the motivations to write.

I want to write things here that are of worth to you, the reader. The only thing I can give that is of true worth is what God says to me. He doesn't say things all the time. Sometimes he just wants me to wait for him and to be quiet. So I'm learning to wait and not feel pressured by feelings that are driven by ego; to trust God's timing.

There will sometimes be humour here--or recipes; some family and friendship stories--and the story of our ongoing faith journeys. I try very hard to do the latter without "religious jargon" and as authentically and honestly as possible.

When people question what is written or ask for clarification and engage in discussion, it adds a dimension that enriches the whole process of writing. It pushes me to think more deeply and strive to articulate my thoughts more clearly.

In that vein, my friend Dave, added a comment to my January 4th post after I tried to clarify the concept of "dying to self." I hadn't really been writing about "dying to self" as much as about accepting by faith that "I" died "in Christ" on the cross, so that his new life could be lived in me.

Dave wrote in response:
Belinda, thank you for this. I think perhaps it's a matter of language. Everything I read here does not speak to 'death of self' ... being dead to sin and sinfullness is not really the same thing. I have always found the 'death of self' talk disturbing and frightening and I wonder if others, outside of the evangelical movement do too. What I read here in this post from the scriptures is about the journey towards selfhood. We all know what it is to 'dress up' ourselves when we go to work or to meet someone important. We all know what it is to be one person with a spouse, another with parents and even another with friends. We all know what it is to lose self through the expectations of others or in situations. I find that I can experience a horrible kind of death of self when, with all the pretending, I loose who I am. I loose the sense of who I was created to be. I find that faith gives me the courage to live fully as the Dave God loves, the guy that was created, the guy who I'm afraid to be much of the time. I don't think we're far off from each other, the sins of pride and of lust and avarice can be such huge distractions and offer such tempting delights. To be dead to the need for praise other than praise for the God you worship is a goal I strive for. 'death of self' 'birth of authenticity' however its said, what matters is the striving.

Dave wrote about finding the "death to self" talk disturbing and wondering if others outside the evangelical movement also do. I am sure that he is right. It's so important to present truth in a way that makes sense and is understandable. It may still offend or seem radical and it will be out of step with the mores of today's culture but let that at least be because it was understood correctly. Jesus often offended, but it was always the religious people, and he used simple stories to convey the profound.

So I'm working on it...truly writing Whatever He Says, when he says it, and clearly!

2 comments:

Marilyn said...

I am always happy to see two friends wrestling through language issues in safety, for the benefit of all within earshot. My thoughts on this particular phrase have been richly fed by your generosity in sharing!

Belinda said...

Dear Marilyn,thank you for your kind words. You encourage me endlessly.