Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Difficult Proposition

The theological virtues - faith, hope, and charity – are integrally and inseparably related. It is through the impartation of the theological virtues, the action of grace that leads to and participates in our profession of faith in Christ, that we receive, enter into, and become the nature of Christ in the world.[1] [2]

The whole of the Christian experience revolves around the relational aspects inherent in the theological virtues, in the divinely infused gift of faith, hope, and charity that works mysteriously within the interior being to form believers in Christ into the image of Christ.

I’m hard pressed to find a time in my cabinet of remembrance when I did not have some degree of assent to the actions of divine reality. It has, granted, been a lifetime of development. I have to admit that the developmental process includes times when I chose exercising my will in resisting the truth.

Alternatives, avenues that are easily chosen through ignorance and often chosen for one reason or another through willful defiance, are alluring and can seem so attractive. There have also been times when my best reasoning, thinking that I was discerning the will of God and living out that direction, brought about a crop of difficult and even victimizing consequences.

Dying to self[3] is a difficult proposition. It is, however, the proposition that presents itself. To be remade and staid in the image of Christ necessarily means losing the image of this self that I, and the world, have and would continue to make of me.[4]

This is not something that I can accomplish in my own strength. Nor is it a conflict won in a few skirmishes. The victory inherent herein is the antithesis of all that is held in esteem by the world’s ideals of success.

[1] Acts 17:28
[2] Ephesians 2:8-9
[3] 1 Corinthians 15:31 A.V.
[4] Mark 8:35