The pressures of religious conformity and political correctness in our culture bring us face-to-face with what Johannes Metz called, “the poverty of uniqueness.” The poverty of uniqueness is the call of Jesus to stand utterly alone when the only alternative is to cut a deal at the price of one’s integrity. The one great passion in Jesus’ life was His Father. He carried a secret in His heart that made Him great and lonely. When we freely assent to the mystery of our belovedness and accept our core identity as Abba’s child, we slowly gain autonomy from controlling relationships. We become inner-directed rather than outer-determined. Passion is not high emotion but a steely determination, fired by love, to stay centered in the awareness of Christ’s present risenness, a drivenness to remain rooted in the truth of who I am, and a readiness to pay the price of fidelity. Brennan Manning, Chapter Eight
It was Shakespeare who once wrote, “To thine own self be true.”
Once a man or woman begins to embrace his or her unique belovedness in Christ, there is no guarantee that this astounding truth will remain front and center in our hearts. Without a doubt, there’s a lot of competition out there in the world for our undivided attention. Our uniqueness in Christ will never become our only anchor in life without major battles with competing voices.
And as Brennan Manning states it correctly here… ‘religious conformity and political correctness’ are two big bullies with big booming voices who would like nothing better than to pull us away from our growing grace-consumed relationship with Christ.
Sweet sirens that sing soothing melodies over our hearts and minds…
Uniqueness is highly over-rated.
Conform to the church’s standards and be happy.
Become like us and you’ll have friends forever.
But fortunately, we who are being invited by a higher power to a higher call don’t have to fall prey to these sweet sounds coming from these lesser lights.
Jesus calls to us. Can you hear Him? Inviting us to live our lives fully and completely in His Gospel of Grace. Don’t you remember what we’ve discussed thus far in this blog series? We’ve been hearing Jesus sing His songs of unconditional love and acceptance over us and we’ve felt the power of His love. The Truth will always stand a bit higher off the ground than half-truths. And remember what Jesus once said… “the Truth shall set us free!”
So political correctness be cursed.
Religious conformity, go back to the pits of hell from which you came.
Damn these fleshly torpedoes, full speed ahead. Let’s set our sails toward the unconditional love of Jesus and not let any other voices deter us from our final destination.
We are Abba’s children. We are loved. We are liked. We are not alone.
As Brennan Manning states, “Faith tells us that we are Abba’s loved children. Faith persuades us of the present risenness of Jesus.” In religion there always lurks the fear that we invented the story of God’s love. (But) genuine faith leads to knowing the love of God, to confessing Jesus as Lord, and to being transformed by what we know.
Let the transformation continue!
Lead on, Jesus, dear Lover of my soul, lead on!
My prayer: The sweet sirens of this world are singing to me, Lord. Thank You for the awareness that You, too, had these sirens singing to You and that, with the empowerment of God’s Spirit, You broke free from these same temptations of religious conformity and political correctness. By the power of God’s Spirit within me, I choose as well to stay focused exclusively on my unique belovedness in Christ. For Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: How have the pressures of religious conformity and political correctness lured me away from the uniqueness of who I am in Christ? Why am I afraid to be unique, living my life and loving others as Christ has uniquely called me to? What might it look like for me today to forsake the other voices and walk purposely into my uniqueness as a beloved son or daughter of God?
So what is God speaking to you today as you live as Abba’s child in the midst of His Gospel of Grace?
Over an eleven-week period, you and I will take a deeper look at God’s Gospel of Grace; Exploring the Good News of God’s Unconditional Love & Acceptance. We are using Brennan Manning’s classic book, Abba’s Child – The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging as our guide. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Gospel of Grace home page for ease of use. ENJOY!
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