You may have noticed that none of my posts up till this point have been lists. I like lists, I really do. But there is a number of reasons why they don’t work for my writing or for the subject matter of this site.
You may ask “how does this have anything to do with health?” Well, the reason is simply because life is too complicated for lists to describe such a phenomena and health is simply the application of life. That being said, there is a greater reason that this subject is important to me, when looking at spiritual health. Before moving on to that, however, let’s look at 8 reasons why my posts don’t come in lists (skip ahead for the fun spiritual stuff).
…. life is too complicated for lists to describe such a phenomena and health is simply the application of life.
8 Reasons Why My Posts Don’t Come in Lists:
- Lists are for A-Type people; I’m an ADHD-Type person. I rarely think in enough of a linear progression for any list post to seem genuine. If I were to make lists regularly they might go in a progression of 1 to 7 to 3 to platypus.
- I study the literature of the Bible on this blog and real literature doesn’t progress simply through lists. As such, I feel it would be doing the literature an injustice to represent it through lists.
- I believe that you, my audience, expects me to be ADHD and fun, rather than structured and boring. I believe my audience expects me to be more genuine than I could be in a list.
- With lists, some points to be forced. You may have noticed I already mentioned the idea of being genuine twice – this is because in lists often points are simply being repeated with forced new ideas connected to them. This is why lists often don’t seem genuine.
- My literary hero, C.S. Lewis, never used lists. Lewis wrote many articles but none of them were in lists. In striving to be like him in my writing style, whilst also being uniquely myself, I feel the need to avoid lists.
- Lists are a cheap way to reinforce one’s ideas. I believe by not having lists, I challenge myself as a writer to find more creative ways to reinforce my ideas.
- Lists are a transactional way to view life. By relying on lists to apply life events, we expect to be able to live life by doing one set of things and not doing another set of things. In doing this, we trick ourselves because life does not work this way.
- By not using lists, I am able to focus on the transformational aspects of my posts. Life is about uniqueness and being. Each person’s body (physical and spiritual) is unique. We can only live healthy lives by knowing ourselves and transforming into something better than what we are ordinarily capable of.
Romans 12:2 states, “Be not conformed to the structures of this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.” Our souls do not long for lists of “thou shalt’s” and “thou shalt not’s”; our souls long to be one with God. We must transcend earthly structures, in order to be one with God. This is why it is important to understand who God is, in order to become one with Him and the body of Christ.
Romans 3 shows how the law is meant only as a reflection for us to see our flaws. C.S. Lewis writes,
Now we cannot…. discover our failure to keep God’s law except by trying our very hardest (and then failing). Unless we really try, whatever we say there will always be at the back of our minds the idea that if we try harder next time we shall succeed in being completely good. Thus, in one sense, the road back to God is a road of moral effort, of trying harder and harder. But in another sense it is not trying that is ever going to bring us home. All this trying leads up to the vital moment at which you turn to God and say, “You must do this. I can’t.”
The law and all the lists out there are great for showing us what we are incapable of accomplishing. We must try to achieve them but we must be willing to accept failure, in order to reach true transformation. This transformation is what true Christianity is about.
If Christianity and health for the mind, body, and soul are all about transformation rather than transactions, then what does it mean to transform? In 1 Corinthians 13:3, Paul says, “If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned (becoming a martyr), but have not agape, I gain nothing.” Agape is the love that is charity love or love without expecting returns. Paul suggests that he can do the acts of charity or love without actually having that said love. This is only possible through transformation. We can only have love if we become love. We gain nothing by doing acts of love.
It’s much like the character Arrow in the 2012 CW series. In the first season, he had a list of people to make pay for their crimes. However, at the end of the season, a personal tragedy occurred in his life causing him to realize that he wasn’t doing his city any good with his list. He says that he realised he had to become something more, something better, he became the Arrow. For Oliver (the Arrow), it wasn’t about acting the part of a hero but instead he had to actually become the hero. It is the same with the Christian walk; we cannot simply act the part of love, we must become love.
In Greek mythology, Narasys gets so caught up in his own reflection in a pool that he ends up drowning in the pool. When we obsess over laws and lists then we end up staring at our reflection so closely that we forget to truly live at all.
Another being in Greek mythology is Tantalus. Tantalus got caught up in religious acts and killed his own son for the gods. However, the gods were not pleased by this act and punished Tantalus by having him stand in a pool of water under a tree with low hanging fruit for eternity. Those who get caught up in transactional versions of Christianity are just like this – they end up so close to the fruits of spirituality that they could touch it but the fruit is never theirs to claim.
The point is: you do not lose or gain salvation through actions, because salvation is not about that. We are saved through transformation into the body of Christ. If anyone reading this is not saved, then I would plead for them to pray for this transformation and to stop trying to fight their flesh with their flesh – that never works.
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Reference / Reading List:
Piper, John. Don’t Waste Your Life. Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway, 2003. Print.
Lewis, C. S. Mere Christianity: A Revised and Enlarged Edition, with a New Introduction, of the Three Books The Case for Christianity, Christian Behaviour, and Beyond Personality. New York: Macmillan, 1952. Print.