Friday, January 16, 2009

i am not defined by what i am not

curtis was reading to me out loud from his e-reader 'velvet elvis' by rob bell while we were in bed last night. he came across a passage that says - (paraphrased here due to me not having the actual book) - that our purpose isn't to "succeed" but rather to relentlessly pursue becoming fully who we are created to be, and anything else is sin. sin! that's a rather surprising end to that sentence, don't you think? i could see "counterproductive", but sin??

rather provocative, really. i can spend all my time trying to please others, to be the lived out version of whatever perfect person i have in my head, but all the while be killing, smothering or silencing my true & real self... and when i do that, i deny who God made me to be, and that is sin. yet if i were to let everyone else's opinion (real or imagined by me) go, i can live out of freedom and my personhood will grow and expand and my life will begin to be contagious for it's characteristics of, well, Life.

he ends the section with this thought - "i am not defined by what i am not". now there are words to live by!


Annie said...

Freedom indeed! Amen!

Sarah said...

wow. i like.

*marissa* said...

AMEN! i REALLY like :)

Krissi said...

This reminds me of something I read in a Henri Nouwen book (and also heard preached about). I can't remember which book of his it is, but he writes about the three big lies the world teaches us: You are what you do; you are who people say you are; you are what you have. And as he writes about these, he debunks these ideas and talks about the truth that these things do not in any way define who we are.

You write good words. Today is a good day for me to remember that I am not defined by what I am not.

Heather said...

nice! i have been thinking along the same lines lately. especially with the Christianese words of "dying to self"...and I get frustrated while I attempt to define what that even is. And I thought "maybe 'dying to self' is dying to all the world says I am- whether it be good or bad". maybe just let it all go and walk around "empty".. because that emptiness might offer us a chance to see us how God sees us. And it frees up space for the holy spirit to move through us. that was a long comment. sorry.