Thursday, March 05, 2009

Morality or Identity

Which do you think is more powerful, a system of right and wrong or an identity rooted in true life?

Which statement is most powerful. "That is wrong. Don't do that." or "That is not you. It doesn't fit you."

Jesus said he came to give us life not morality. Jesus said he was the way, the truth and the life, not a superior system of right and wrong. Jesus was constantly concerned about pleasing His Father and reflecting His true identity as one with the Father.

Paul said "For to me to live is Christ. It is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me."

Right and wrong does not work. Right and Wrong is not what God is after. God is after joining His life to us so we live from His life the way Jesus did. I don't believe Jesus spent any time at all thinking about right and wrong. I believe He was simply being Himself full of grace and truth.

When I am in a place where I want to be impatient or aggressive, I can say "This is wrong. Don't do it." Or I can say "This is not consistent with my Christian life--Jesus in me. Jesus be my patience and my kindness." I have tried both. Identity and Life trump right and wrong. Right and wrong is the fruit of a tree we should avoid.

I guess we should have seen that identity is more powerful than morality when God said "I am that I am" and Jesus said "I always do that which pleases my Father." Jesus was not trying to be good. He was good because He is good.

The next time you are wondering if you should do something or not, ask "Is this the real me?" instead of asking "Is this right or wrong." If your identity is "Christ in you, the hope of glory" you will immediately know that impatience and aggression just don't fit you. Put on kindness and gentleness. They fit you and they are in you right now.

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