We work really hard to manage our lives. Often we find ourselves worn out by managing to live in spite of our nagging passions that run afoul of the Way of Jesus. Dallas Willard suggests we have lived under the weight of “the Gospel of Sin Management.” Our aim is always to be a little better today than we were yesterday. We construct our own set of “laws” to help us manage our behavior. More often than not we end up violating our own codes.
What would happen if we would engage the hard work of living the life of Jesus in our own life? In other words, what would happen if we intended to be different people. We would recognize the hard work it is. My friend the Ex-Reverend has a short-hand for this goal, “Don’t be a douche.” Most would find this an objectionable way of putting it. But, if we realize that our behaviors often can come off as objectionable maybe we would work to reconstitute our way of being around the life of Jesus.
David Bazan captures the reality – It is hard to be human. Our ways are often less than human. I am still thinking about the Epistle text from this past Sunday. The subversive move Paul calls us to is to love one another. In context this cannot be reduced to the way Christians treat Christians. The call is to love our neighbor in a way that does not give us an out to self-select who we will love. Living in the Kingdom of God creates one obligation – love one another. That is work. We must labor to live in the new reality created by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Our labors then become formative. While it may be hard to be human, it is not impossible.