Monday, July 19, 2010

The Theology of Self Acceptance

In the last post, I suggested that self-reflection is needed so we do not mistake our reasons for the things we do or believe. Reasons should support our actions, because reason guards from carelessness. Carelessness is not living soberly, and that will inevitably lead to mistakes, and mis-steps. Tonight, I was thinking of what reason (theology) I had to think that Christian faith was important or of value.

The main emphasis to me was the personal aspect of God's love. God could love "even me", and that was especially good news. I was not a mistake, a product of a failed marriage, but was "planned in the councils of God's intent, purpose and plan". This was indeed inspiring and led me to give, sacrifice and serve the Church in various ways over the years, not to mention things done in secret.

God's love was not the only "good news", but that others were commanded to love me, too. And love was an expectation of mine. Love meant acceptance, which was a deep need in my human heart. I belonged and I believed. It was a reality to my psyche.

These hopes and human needs were part of my humanity, a small child's need for reassurance that she was "okay". What is true is true, as there is no special revelation, only the revelation of what really is, and that is; although my grandfather was my 'father' in all sense that I could know, my need for family, and acceptance was not met in early childhood. What to do? Continue to be victimized by such a background? No, one must move on and grow beyond their childish needs and deal with their griefs in a real world, and in a real way, not a religious way. When one suppliments anything for reality in a real world, it is a kind of denial. And denial is not getting to the root of any problem.

What does this mean? It means that there is work to be done in my psyche, and there is work to be done in my family of origin, if they are willing. And I am sure as I journey down the road to 'truth and reality, I will learn other things that need addressing and change or re-orientation.

It also means that the Church is looked at as a social institution that is not a nursery school. One must evaluate whether the Church is a place where one chooses to associate. What kind of Church does one "fit"? And how does one reconcile faith with such a view?

Faith is not about the trimmings that so many people argue over. Faith is about how one lives their life and why. The reasons are important because one must be wise, and discerning in prioritizing their values. Life is short and loved ones are important, more important than anything else.

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