Be Human and Love God

“This life therefore, is not righteousness, but growth in righteousness, not health but healing, not being but becoming. We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it;  the process is not finished but is going on; this is not the end but it is the road. All does not gleam in glory, but all is being purified. Amen”[1] From the first half of the 16th century Martin Luther offers us a lot of wisdom in this short message. One of the challenges of living the Life of the Spirit is to deal with our very humanness, our tendency to miss the mark of truly loving, and to embrace all that we are: human beings called to love.

When we read this and really take it in, we can relax a good deal on our journey towards a deep relationship with God. We begin to understand that the journey is not about arrival at some perfect end, but more about being with God along the way. It’s less about following the rules, and more about listening for what God is saying to us. It’s about our continuing to be our very human selves and loving God more and more, loving our neighbor more and more, and loving ourselves more and more.

As we modern folk might say it is about both/and: it’s about being human and divine, it’s about going towards the perfect and yet being flawed, it’s about putting ourselves in God’s hands so that the Spirit can transform us into the Creator’s plan embedded in us from our birth. We can relax because we are not the Prime Mover in this transformation; the Holy Spirit is. We can focus on our relationship with the Creator while the Spirit does the heavy lifting of affecting a huge transformation in us.

Implied in Luther’s quote is that it is all right to be where you are at any point along the road. Impatience and anxiety and fear can be replaced by patience and trust and faith. Once on this road we are in God’s hands, in the hands of the One who knows us inside and out and who loves us in all our imperfection. Thanks be to God!


[1] Martin Luther quoted in Just Because It Didn’t Happen by the Rev. William L. Dols, Myers Park Baptist Church, Charlotte NC, 2001, p. 29

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