Site icon D. Patrick Collins

The Christian Soul: Looking for a Way Out

So we are saying then is that the Christian life is a life motivated by love. That in the Christian life, we are only responsible to do what love for God compels us to do, and this is what true Christian spirituality is all about.

I am actually surprised that I have not gotten more push-back from this idea, some nasty comments accusing me of making the Christian life too easy, and giving Christians permission to abandon all sense of obedience to God. Even of heresy. Really.

But what we are doing here is not really giving Christians a way out; we are giving them a way in. My concern is not with the believer who is looking for a life of no challenge, no responsibility, and no spirituality. Such a believer does not need my words to find an excuse to live far from God, and only for themselves.

My concern, rather, is with the believer who wishes to surrender all and to experience all God has for them, but has somehow gotten lost on their journey. Because they have not understood how the Christian soul functions.

And this raises an important question concerning Christian spirituality: Given the choice, do you believe the Christian believer is inclined to do the wrong thing or the right thing? Do you believe the believer (and by believer I mean you) is looking for a way to get out of this relationship, or to fall more in love in it?

See, if all of us are looking for a way out, then we need external forces to keep us in. We need things like sermons telling us what you should be doing if we wish to be pleasing to God. We need people emphasizing the rules. We need people telling us, “In light of Jesus’ sacrifice, the least you can do is . . . ” Bottom line, we need the Person in this relationship saying to us, “Since you love me, you must . . . ”

But if you are looking for a way to fall more in love, then what you are needing is entirely different. You need assurance. You need to know you are deeply loved. You need to know you are wanted. You need to know you are safe. You need to know you are free, even free to leave (gasp), if you chose to. This is the environment in which you will flourish.

Honestly, the only time I have wanted a way out of the Christian life was when I was being presented a version of Christianity so oppressive, so externally motivated to control my behavior, that it was tearing apart the very fabric of my soul.

And the only reason I stuck it out is because something deep inside me was telling me, “this is not the way it is supposed to be.” I knew there was something more, something sacred, something so much more beautiful that the grotesque caricature of Christianity I was presently having to endure. I knew it was about love.

So how about you?

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