Christianity Is: Fixin’ the Whole

“I’m fixing a hole [the whole, my whole] where the rain gets in
And stops my mind [life] from wandering
Where it will go [out of control]”
– Beatles

There’s a meme flying around social media that depicts the worst ways that men, who claimed to be Christ-followers, instead utterly denied him by their actions. It’s an image of torture, probably from the Inquisition times. I won’t say any more about it specifically.

My Dear Friends, this is not what Christianity is.

To be Christian is to desire – above all else in life – to be like Jesus Christ, Son of Man/Son of God. Desire and above all else are excellent words to describe this faith. It speaks of passionately wanting, longing, yearning – not for some thing of this world – but to be whole as a divinely created human being.

Perhaps what is not so obvious is, that in order to want to be whole, one must first be aware that there is a hole (or holes) to fill. To feel brokenness. To admit to wrongdoing or simple mistakes, colossal goof-ups, or words and acts of purely evil intent.

Another way of looking at it is that Christianity is carpentry of the soul. We’re rebuilding ourselves to be a temple for the Lord God to inhabit. The wood we build with is our own habits and behaviors. Any sawing, cutting, sanding, or planing if done on our own lives.

Jesus Christ taught and demonstrated exactly how a flawed humanity could grow toward perfection. He spoke of two ways to make consistent, ongoing progress, as recorded by two people who personally knew him. Jesus said:

Mark 12:30
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, strength…
“Love your neighbor the same as you love yourself.”

Matthew 28:19
“So go and make followers of all people in the world.”

There may seem to be a question about the letter of this law, due to the many possible interpretations of the verbs used, but it is the spirit of these ‘commandments’ that is the key to living them.

First and foremost, to follow Christ is to live every minute in a deep and extremely personal relationship with The Creator. To seek to know God, who literally and figuratively made me, as intimately as I know myself. (Maybe even more so.) To be inseparable from him. To be with him with every fiber of my being. All my heart (my emotions), my soul (my six senses), my mind (my logic), and my bodily strength (my very life).

Getting to know God leads to realizing every good and potential thing about myself, and to see where I am lacking. Then, with his forgiveness, I receive the power to change – the spark that only he can give. Daily, moment-by-moment, I can then apply myself to fixing the whole of me.

As I grow and mature towards more-often-than-not being able to say and do what is “loving” for myself and for those who are in my life, I am able to see that they are like me in brokenness, in mistakes made, and even in purposely or reflexively causing harm. I can then feel and extend the same forgiveness – that God gave me, that I give myself – to them, through my own words and actions.

‘My words and actions’ means that I “walk my talk” of abiding in God – of staying with him. This is leading by example, not by forcing or dictating expectations of behavior for others. Consider the verbs used in English translations of Matthew 28:19:

  • make followers or disciples
  • teach
  • disciple
  • train
  • immersing them into

None of these implies the use of force or punishment. Instead, they give the sense that people will voluntarily want to know my secret for living with peace and joy in any circumstance.

Revelation 3:3
So don’t forget what you have received and heard. Obey it. Change your [own] hearts and lives!

Focusing on God, on myself in him – this is what will lead other people to a desire to know him for themselves.


To Speak Of Knowing What I Can Not Prove

My Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Let us take a moment to speak quietly. Let us each be quick to listen, thoughtful in our response, and very, very careful to watch for even the slightest resentment in our words. Everybody knows a gentle answer turns away wrath, while a harsh retort stirs up anger.

We are all the same, are we not? Don’t we all have eyes? Don’t we have hands, bodily organs, a human shape, five senses, feelings, and passions? Don’t we all eat the same food, get hurt with the same weapons, get healed by the same medicine, and warm up in summer and cool off in winter? If you prick us, don’t we all bleed? If you tickle us, don’t we all laugh? If you poison us, don’t we all die?

And if one of us is verbally treated badly, what then?

I speak just of speaking in this post. Discourse is truly what connects us in a civilized society, written or spoken. But there are at least two layers to it. On the surface, our meaning might be plain, but, buried between the lines, there can be a very different thing. Sometimes we hope it will harm. Don’t we all know this?

We all stumble in many ways. Is there anyone who is never at fault in what they say? Is there anyone who is perfect, and able to keep their whole body (and tongue) in check? I have only ever heard of one, Jesus Christ. And he taught and showed – he was a living example of – what is then the best, kindest, most honest, and purest reply.

(Apologies, but this is not a post about what Christ actually said. May I suggest a study of The Bible if more information is desired?)

My point is that Jesus spoke quite honestly with those who disagreed with him, even when there were no facts or data or statistics – nothing provable – to be had about what he said (specifically about the corruption of the Pharisees, etc). He spoke of knowing what can not be proven, yet is still truth. Parables, allegories, analogies, metaphors were helpful in doing this.

I’ve read and heard many opinions about Christ – in regards to whether he was truly who he said he was. But – regardless of the state of the speaker’s faith – none denied that there was a man who, roughly 2000 years ago, turned the world upside-down as the founder of Christianity. This is history, and we all believe history happened, don’t we?

Likewise, history documents many other social and political events and movements, wars and the causes for, in, and of them, and world-changing individuals. Those who did good and those who did evil. Those who brought great evil here: assassinations; enslavement; genocide; swindling of basic human rights. Can we agree on this? That these things happened, and they still happen today, and that no person or nation is NOT susceptible. “Caveat Emptor” remains a necessary watchword.

We can disagree on the why this happen(s/ed). I believe that humankind was created to be good, but, in falling (in the proverbial Garden), has been broken – beyond our own ability to repair. Hence the need for salvation, for being made right with our Creator. We now individually must specifically and intentionally choose good – and can quite easily take the other path.

We can choose poorly because of greed, or hurt, or hate, or simple ignorance, or purposeful deception by another. It is this latter cause I am writing about today. Knowing what can not be definitively proven. We can be very sure, with history as our witness, that there are people who deceive and manipulate to get what they want, and that sometimes what they want is power over others. These people will seek to conceal their methods. To hide what they do. For everyone who does evil hates the light – for light will expose his deeds.

Same as it ever was.

These days, I keep no doubt that there’s at least a grain of truth in any rumors and allegations I hear. And I hear so many! They are, in themselves, damning evidence. We all know. We don’t need it to be proven to us.

This post took a while to put together, and I could spend a lot more time on it! But one thing about blogging is that it is meant to be more of a concise form of writing (as opposed to a book). Hope you enjoyed reading this and can see the point I was trying to make.

Regarding the ‘why’ I wrote this today, I hope it’s obvious that it is about the US presidential election. “Corruption” and “government” go hand-in-hand. It’s one of those things you’re either realistic or foolish about; one of those things we just ‘know’.

And, yes, I quoted or paraphrased Bible verses, movies, songs, and even Shakespeare in this post. Kudos to you if you recognized:

  • The Merchant of Venice
  • James 1:19
  • Proverbs 15:1
  • LotR
  • Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade
  • John 3:19-20
  • Talking Heads