Before time began Grace was in the wings, such is the Love of God that there was preparation for a wrong choice. God was prepared for the entrance of sin into this good world and redemption was in the wings. This is a continuation of our mini series in the book of Origins (Genesis) about our Dignity, Identity & Purpose.
I was reading the Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda, a very interesting book about some of the great sages of India. My belief has always been that if you want to learn about another culture and its faith, then you should read books written by people born into that culture. In the very beginning of this book Yogananda is reflecting upon the first great sage that influenced his life and in describing this sage he uses the word Christlike. “My own path led me to a Christlike sage whose beautiful life was chiseled for the ages”
Interesting that this man would choose a non-Indian Spiritual Teacher to describe an Indian Holy Man, I find this very interesting indeed. You must remember that India was just freeing itself from many years of being a colony of The British Crown, a “christian nation.” Yet Yogananda does not call this sage (Lahiri Mahasaya) a christian like sage but rather a Christlike sage.
Christlike is a word that stands apart and has not be tainted like christian has, Christlike speaks of Love, Patience, Wisdom, Forgiveness, Mercy and Very Deep Spirituality. It has a transcendent quality that speaks of heaven and the angels, of a connection with God the Father beyond the bounds of time and matter. Christlike is the perfect word to describe someone who lives in two worlds, heaven and earth seamlessly and seeks to unite them. Christlike is a word that has stood the passage of time even as christian has lost its original meaning of being Christlike.
Jesus was the most Christlike person who ever walked the earth, more than that he was sent from God to show what the future of Humanity through Him will look like some day. We are told in the holy book of Hebrews that Jesus (The Christ) was only first of many divine son’s and daughters of The Living God. What if the whole world secretly desired to be Christlike and live in a Christlike world? Then indeed The Kingdom of God would have come among us and Christ would be king among christs.* *(see 1 John 3:2-3)
Funny it takes someone from a foreign land a “non-christian” to remind us what being christian is all about, it’s about Being Christlike.Maybe its time to drop the word christian and all its baggage, and fully embrace the word that says it all “Christlike.”
I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. Mohandas Gandhi
Perfection is composed of Qualities that can only be measured by its effect on any Quantity.
Most people see their life in terms of a court room, where God checks to see if you have done more good than evil. This view has been reinforced by religion throughout the ages, as well as it being the fallen way for us to think.*(see tree of Good and Evil in Genesis) What this kind of thinking does is create the false Idea that, Perfection is a quantity to be achieved rather than a quality to be experienced and lived
This is the basis of all Law Mindsets as well, and Jesus is asked many times what is the bottom line in order to get the Kingdom of God? Another way to ask this question is, how much can I get away with without losing the prize at the end of my life? All of this misses the point and the Spiritual teachings of Jesus Christ, but I have discovered that to most Christians what Jesus said isn’t nearly as important as Calvin, Augustine, Luther, Smith et all.
So back to Perfection and it really being about a focus on the qualities of life you live and how it affects others, rather than the avoidance of bad things or the pressure of goods works to please God. Perfection is both a state of Spirit as well as quality of Life, what Jesus would call Eternal Life or (Zoe Life). The teaching that Eternal Life is a prize that one receives after death, rather than the flow of The Spirit in this life and into the next is wrong.
Perfection is in Fact the Power of God that is the process that Redeems and Heals all within in its influence. This Perfection is at work in the universe and it will as Paul clearly teaches, have its effect in the restoration of all things. Perfection is about Process not Performance, it’s a quality of Life whose source is God’s Spirit, not a Demand you have to do or else. Perfection is based in surrender of the Ego, which is why the Law can never produce God’s Perfection nor was it intended to. The (Law Mind) is all about see what I have done, see what a good boy or girl I have been God, please don’t send me to Hell.
Under the (Law) close enough is not Good Enough, but under The Qualities of Perfection Love, Mercy, Kindness, Tenderness, influence, coming close is Good Enough, remember God said creation was Good not Perfect. You see Perfection as a quality of life implies a journey not a destination or even a goal. Perfection is a Journey where the notion is not my Egos will, but the Loving will of God. Where the life you live is about transformation and unity in love with others. Where The Spirit causes you to become the other in order to unite with them in God’s life.* (see Phil 2) The Qualities of Perfection is the atmosphere we breathe and move in, where Motive is Love and Intent is restoration first and foremost. Where your heart is examined by The Spirit to see if The Life of God directs and infuses your Journey, which is God’s Journey as well.
God set this in motion, and come to find out it will take an eternity for this process of Perfection and its Qualities to unfold. With ever deeper experiences of the Love and Majesty of our God’s plan to be experienced, with no end in sight. You see the Qualities of Perfection will be experienced in every moment then, just they can be Now! It really is the journey after all with Perfection as the Qualities of God’s Presence.
One could say that Jesus was the Expression of God’s Qualities of Perfection in Human form, and you’d be right.