Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Let the 'No' of Christ Be Formed in You

Sunset on a Lake Michigan beach

“The making of a man is making your body do what it doesn't want to do.” 

"No" is a freedom word.

The mature person flourishes as they wield the powerful word "No." 

The Jesus-idea is that, as we connect to him, as a branch connects to a vine, we bear "fruit," part of which is awe-inspiring "self control." (Galatians 5:23) People drop their jaws and stare in wonder as people say "No" to mere self-gratification.

A Spirit-led, self controlled person is a free person. They have grown in their humanity to say "No" to eating the wrong things, "No" to spending money they don't have to buy things they don't need, "No" to engaging in sexual behavior as the objectification of other persons.

"No" is the ultimate boundary word. The capacity to wield it does not come from hearing slogans like "Just say 'No'." The authentic, boundary-setting 'No" must become one's heart, one's inner being. This happens as Christ is formed in us.

Think, e.g., of Jesus after he fed the 5,000. The people rushed to make him an earthly king. Jesus exercised his innate self control and refused. His 'No' was not only for him, but for the sake of others, indeed, for the sake of the whole world.

M. Scott Peck described 
"the road less traveled" as "gratification delay." "No" is, perhaps, the ultimate other-centered word. 

This is a narrow road, said Jesus, and few take it. It is the road to freedom.

Let the "No" of Christ be formed in you and go free.

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