Mike Cope's blog

Friday, July 23, 2004

Three words offer the "what-more-can-I-say" excuse.  They say, in essence, "Hey, I'm flawed, I'm weak, I'm sin-filled.  What would you expect?"  The three words?  "I'm only human." But as I've meditated on the meaning of the incarnation, I wonder if we have the wrong view of what it means to be a human.  Maybe, in light of the life of Jesus, our problem is that we're not human enough yet. From the example of Jesus we've learned this:  to be human means to build on eternal values, to bless all whom we encounter, to live for justice, to speak for those without a voice, and to keep our eyes peeled for the rule of God.

8 Comments:

  • The other one that bugs me is, "That's just the way I am." I still owe Steve Wages a debt for a prayer he led at Highland wherein he pointed out in response to that excuse that there is only one I AM. That is one of my favorite Highland moments.

    By Blogger Val, at 7/23/2004 08:10:00 PM  

  • "God didn't promise us a rose garden."

    Are we sure of that?

    It seems to me He gave us a garden filled with beautiful, fragrant roses, supported by long stems, replete with thorns.

    The thorny stems of trials and difficulties strengthen us so we can enjoy the fragrance of His blessings and love - even the wisdom to recognize them.

    Mike, I too am so glad to see you back with your blogging family.

    By Blogger Kathy, at 7/24/2004 06:22:00 AM  

  • Five words that I try to remember when I'm tempted to fall back on the "I'm only human" card are:

    "I've been crucified with Christ"

    I love you Mike and appreciate your insights.

    By Blogger Joel Quile, at 7/26/2004 07:27:00 AM  

  • I imagine my soon to born son getting in trouble at school and saying to his teacher "What do you expect? I'm only a Smith."

    "I'm only human" smacks of the same insult. I'm only created in the image of God, a little lower than the angels.

    At the same time, humanity apart from God, apart from Christ, has every reason to use this excuse. I'm only an animal, made from dirt, its a wonder I can feed myself.

    It's the dual nature and the reason why self-esteem makes no sense and perfect sense. I am a worthless wretch on one hand and a child of God on the other. And it's Christ that makes all the difference. With Christ I hold out eternal hope for humanity, apart from Christ I hold out none.

    But as someone who is in Christ, someone who calls God "Abba", it's sinful to think of myself in terms of "only" human. Just as Christ was fully human, so I strive to be.

    By Blogger chrismith, at 7/26/2004 10:01:00 AM  

  • Centuries ago, St. Iranaeus wrote, "The glory of God is man fully alive." Ducking our heads and muttering "I'm only human" goes against the grain of that statement, doesn't it? We are supposed to reflect the Lord's glory "with unveiled faces" (2 Cor. 3:18) as we become more like Him - and I believe that includes becoming our true selves, the selves He intended for us to be.

    Building 429 has a song with the line, "I want to shine in spite of who I am." I understand that lyric in the light of the fact that we're all flawed people, but if we are the rescued children of light, daughters and sons of the King, shouldn't it be "I want to shine BECAUSE of who I am?"

    By Blogger Katie, at 7/26/2004 03:50:00 PM  

  • i want to shine because of who HE is. it is not i who live, but Christ living in me.

    By Blogger chrismith, at 7/27/2004 07:56:00 AM  

  • [I'm a little late on this one, but I've always loved this old quote from Keith Green. Your post reminded me of it!]

    What about those "other sayings"? You know, the quasi-biblical ones, like "Please be patient, God isn't finished with me yet," which can really be a horrible replacement for "I'm sorry." (And besides, it puts the blame on the wrong person - "The reason I'm such a creep is because God isn't finished with me yet.")

    And if you really want to play "Stretch the Bible" there is that other fabulous excuse that absolutely ends all quests or expectations for holiness: "Christians aren't perfect... just forgiven!" Ah, how convenient. You might just as well say, "Christians aren't moral, just forgiven!" or what about "Christians aren't nice, just forgiven!" How about the ultimate? "Christians aren't saved . . . just forgiven!" (That might be a little too deep.) What we're saying by this glorious piece of prose is, "Madam, you cannot trust your teenage daughter with my Christian son, you'd better keep your eye on him . . . he's not safe . . . he's just forgiven!"

    By Blogger Matt Elliott, at 7/27/2004 01:24:00 PM  

  • In response to Matt...there's the legalists view (never stated, only implied): "Christians aren't forgiven unless they're perfect."

    MS

    By Blogger MarkS, at 8/10/2004 06:44:00 AM  

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