The Courage to Be…

The courage to be is the courage to accept oneself, in spite of being unacceptable. Paul Tillich

Meditation: Sometimes Christianity is being misunderstood or misrepresented as a moral system of expectations for us to strive for “holiness” or “perfection”. The notion of “sinfulness” is being used to make people work hard as if they were able to avoid their human weaknesses.  Preachers at times create the illusion that we can and have to make ourselves “acceptable” in God’s eyes, if we just try hard enough. What a misleading message! Jesus embodied the love of God that embraces, accepts and forgives. The message that we “are accepted in spite of being unacceptable” is at the core of Jesus’s message, including our sins, transgressions, short comings and even our misled self-righteousness. If we truly believe in the love of God that Jesus embodied, our “courage to be” will become our liberated way of living boldly. Martin Luther called this way of living “to sin boldly”.

Prayer: God, help us face our imperfections and our shadows. Let us not fall for the human illusion of perfection. Help us to embrace our imperfections and have compassion for our own and others’ limitations and mistakes. You give us joy and courage to live boldly. By You accepting us fully and us joining You in Your compassionate ways, we overcome our feelings of shame and of guilt. And we are grateful. Amen

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. Hebrew 4:16