Scripture says something like, “as a man thinks, so he is”. We could say that a man is what he thinks he is, or he is what he believes. Jesus said that what we believed in prayer we could receive.
There is a huge correlation between what we think and the consequential emergent reality. People who are struggling to see how they fit in or don’t fit in to some creative purpose, can get caught up in the factual or rational aspect of science and the universe. This can divorce the reality of who we are from any personal sense of worth, instead, placing us as a distant speck in the universe. This is dehumanising.
If we were brought up in any sort of half decent family, we are a product of parents who were concerned with our welfare and provided for us so that we might become healthy in mind body and soul. When we get to doing our own thinking about things though, we might then end up in “a bit of a pickle”.
What I am trying to say is that people can, in their own eyes, become a ‘What’ instead of a ‘Who’. Jesus knew he was a ‘Who” and not a ‘What”. All of scripture is based on relationship rather than science. The realm of the mind can take you down the garden path well and truly. The mind is firmly attached to the flesh, rather than having a good relationship with the heart.
Nevertheless, facts are facts and rationalisation is ‘the order of the [human] day’. The reality of relationship is shown by Jesus as being the natural and the norm. He dwelt amongst us and carried on life in relationship to others, and to God. He did not pontificate about the universe or science, or rationalise about higher elements of the universe. He operated as a living person who was only immediately concerned with people and how they were relating or not relating, to God.
But on a rational level, He was the ‘Who’ who became our ‘What’. It is Who we believe, not What we believe that counts. [It’s not what you know but who you know]. To relate only to scientific facts, leaves us impoverished as people. It means we are operating largely from the flesh, rather than from the heart or from some normal relationship with another person.
On the cross, he took our ‘What’ and made it his own, and suffered. To do this he had to turn his own ‘Who’ into our ‘What’. His resurrection restored his ‘Who’ and made it available to us, so our ‘What’ could then become his ‘Who’ also. Conversely, the thief takes your ‘Who’ and leaves you only with the ‘What’.
The power of temptation is inversely proportional to our desire of God, and proportional to our desire of self. Our love for him has to be greater than our love of self. There is only death in the What, and only life in the Who. God has to take preeminence in everything, so you better be sure who he is and that you have got the right one.
Those who live by the law will die by the law. They are a ‘What’. Those who live by his Spirit will live by that Spirit. They are a ‘Who’. It is when we discover that God is a Who and not a What, that we can begin to live.
[ If anyone can explain this to me, please do so 🙂 ] [What?]