“May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity.”
The Son talking to his Father
Went to the doctor recently. Like most men I know, I went as a last resort. If I wasn’t speaking several times at a men’s event over the coming weekend, I may not have gone at all. I gave him all my symptoms and he prescribed something. Ironically, he didn’t give me something to treat my congestion, unclog my ears, or address my sore throat. He gave me a single powerful medicine to knock out the infection that was causing it all.
He skipped the outer manifestation of the rooted source and went right after the heart of the issue. Trees can be beautiful and majestic, but the source of all that beautify and strength lies below the surface. That is where all the action is. Conversely, if a tree is in some sort of distress, what’s happening below the dirt will also hold the clues to that as well.
In my faith tradition, we talk about something similar. We talk about the heart as being the rooted issue that must be addressed. I agree, but I think about it in a different way than most interpretations I have heard.
I’ve mostly been taught that my heart is desperately wicked…even unredeemable this side of heaven. I’ve been taught that my heart is bad, mostly capable of bad things, and that if I work hard enough to overwhelm the bad with good, I might be able to modify the behavior that all that badness is causing. I’ve largely been taught to treat the symptoms.
- My heart is desperately wicked.
- It is likely to produce mostly bad things.
- The best I can do is behavior modify.
But I feel like we’ve been sold a bill of goods here. Old Screwtape has pulled another one over on us. God’s plan all along was for us to be the billboard for his glory. If we are going to be oaks of righteousness that display his glory, the root system that those trees shoot up from have to be pretty glorious as well.
The heart may be desperately wicked, but the root structure of the redeemed is capable and intended for glory. How differently do you think a life might look if it had the banner of “GLORY” hanging over it instead of “DESPERATELY WICKED”? For me, focusing and believing in the former has dramatically reduced the challenges found in the other.
I would much rather wrestle with the stewardship of glory than merely manage my sin. So would you. That is why you were created.
We’ve heard quite enough about original sin, but it is high time that we started talking about original glory. We were made for it…it is our heritage and intended destination.
- Do you spend more time managing your sin or stewarding your glory?
- What would it look like if we were all offering the unique aspect of the Father’s glory that no other creature can?
- How different would the life of those you love and lead look if you focused on the glory of the Lord in them?
- How different do you think life might look if you spent more time on that latter?