Midweek Moment: September 23, 2020
It was German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche who coined the saying, “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” The quote speaks to the concept of resilience, an increasingly popular term in recent years in education and childhood development. Further, it speaks to the idea that at the core of life is surviving whatever comes your way and clinging onto whatever you have left after hard situations.
In the last week, I have been struck with a much deeper truth than Nietzsche’s words, and an invitation from Christ that leads to even greater strength: “For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” (Romans 8:13) For Jesus, real life and strength actually comes through death, not by surviving it.
What Paul speaks to in Romans is that part of the gift of the Spirit (aka Counselor) is to help us rediscover who we really are in Christ. For all of us, we have these identities that we cling to – some of them physical like wealth, titles, or possessions; and others based on past experiences, most often from our childhood and family of origins – but those coping mechanisms and survival instincts only mask and hinder us from the “life to the fullest” that Jesus wants us to have. Instead of surviving, Jesus invites us to pick up our cross and follow Him into death. The difference with Jesus is that this death actually leads to something new and better – to resurrection.
When facing difficult seasons, how would your life be different if instead of clinging on to all the ways you know how to survive, you actually allowed the Spirit to let those habits and tools die?
What if instead of fighting for independence, you allowed the Spirit to move you to a place of greater dependence on God and the family of God around you?
And what if the “you” that you have fought to hold onto, actually should be let go so that you can experience deeper healing that leads to your true identity in Christ?
Grace & Peace