On Becoming A Whole Person

Isn’t it a joy when you hear about someone or maybe have heard them speak and then you meet them and they are just like they seem?

And maybe you develop a relationship where you see them somewhat frequently in a variety of social settings, and then they still are that same person?

I was thinking about so many people I know whose words are so far different from their actual lives.

Their political philosophy says one thing (“I hate taxes” for example”) yet they have had jobs working for the state (paid by tax revenue) and retire with a pension (which many people don’t get and by the way also paid by taxes). I’ve seen people vote anti-union yet are union members and then complain about losing income and benefits.

But that’s trivial.

How about someone who speaks often of Jesus’ love, yet seems to love only self? How about someone always preaching “family values” or “Christian morals” and whose life is a shambles of moral decay?

Why do we run into so many people who are so clueless about themselves?

They can read the words of Jesus and other teachers on the subject, yet they do not see the irony that their lives do not come close to reflecting those values.

Jesus actually saw those people. And then he set the bar even higher for them. He saw people try to define morals such that they could achieve them yet still be able to point to others their shortcomings.

Matthew has a long passage of reporting Jesus’ teachings. (Chapters 5-7) It’s good–not for reading which is challenging but as a mirror.

Jesus said, for example, that it’s easy to talk about loving. Especially those who are like you. But, he said, the real test of love it to love and pray for those who are opposed to you. He raised the bar too high to be attainable. Especially when he said to be perfect just as your father in heaven is perfect.

But when the way we live reflects those values we preach, people see. And they will respect us.

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