Should we or should we not?
Where lies the cure for our sinning? Should we be looking for a cure?
“We should be pursuing holiness!”
Indeed we should; but should the pursuit of holiness be a self-conscious pursuit? I want to be better? God forgive me, if I’m not endlessly grinding my teeth over my sins I’m ceaselessly examining myself for signs of growth in holiness or coming up with schemes that "without a doubt" will enrich my spiritual llife. In either case I continue to put myself at the centre of the universe!
There's something I can't quite get a handle on but I think it’s the direction we should be going. My suspicion is that Jesus was the most unselfconscious person that ever lived. I think his eyes were so focussed on his Father and the Father's purpose for the world that he lost sight of himself altogether.
And when he did speak or think of himself it was as if he were thinking of someone else ("The Son of Man must…" this or that); as if he were thinking of someone he knew who had a destiny and a mission. I suspect that he didn't spend time thinking, "I must become holier!" My guess is that he became obsessed with his Father's heart and purpose toward a sinning and suffering humanity that he forgot to pursue holiness because he didn't need to consciously pursue holiness (as though it were a major project orthe major project).
In admiring his Father, in admiring his purposes he grew more and more like him (didn’t I read somewhere that he "grew in wisdom and in...favour with God and men"?) The call to holiness in Hebrews 12:14 is one we dare not ignore or minimise and yet at the same time it is a concession to our sinfulness. He wouldn't have to say such a thing to Jesus!
Since we can't match him in such a dimension—what is there for us? I can't say with any certainty; but maybe if by the Spirit we can take our eyes off ourselves and become astonished at God and his Son we'd see a change. We can do that by a more sustained, focussed and hungry reflection on them in the Word--who knows, something wondrous might happen. Maybe it'd be better to do that than to be forever looking in a mirror at our own image.[Balance this where you must.]
©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.