The fact that we’re created by God implies an intrinsic connection with the divine. We are not just matter, we are not just chemicals and atoms, there is a transcendent dimension to who we are. Some refer to this as a spiritual dimension; others call it simply an immaterial dimension. Even science shows that while we can explain a whole lot and there’s more that will be explained, there is a mystery imbedded in things (in all the scientific fields) that will always evade us. Religion comes and says: that which is a mystery, that which is unexplainable is God, it is God’s dimension.
- NOTE: While we can’t explain God in his very nature we can learn enough about Him to help us live a meaningful life. To say this in a different way, we can’t know (explain) God but we can experience Him and based on these experiences we can make provisional statements about God.
This divine connection is what makes us special, provides us with a unique status, gives us dignity. This is an unchanging fact, whether we believe it and therefore act on it or not. The more in sync the material and the spiritual dimensions are, the closer we are to realizing our humanity, the best we can be. The attempt to relinquish and play down our material side (by some in the religious community) is just as damaging as the attempt to renounce and play down our spiritual side (by some in the secular community).
So, how valuable we are? (Notice I didn’t say how valuable we can be?) As valuable as God is. Does that mean we are gods? No. There is an unbridgeable distinction between God and us, between the Creator and the creation. We can never be God, we can never be more than we are, a creation. We can’t change that, nor can we change our derived value.
Now surely, we can live and behave as if we’re not. We can behave inhumanly (as we call it) toward ourselves, toward others and toward the environment we live in and as a result cause damage, hurt and create chaos. But none of this will change us ontologically, in our very being. So
- our goal in life is not to become something but to realize who we truly are and live accordingly.
As I said in the previous post, sin is a lie we believe and act on. As Jesus put it, it is the truth that can set us free to be what we are meant to be. Sin, this distortion of reality, does not change who we are (how can it? What is real is real – we are God’s creation and therefore good), only how we see ourselves and in so doing affect our lives.
To see ourselves, in a false humility, as “pure dust” and have a low view of ourselves (worthless, wretched etc.) is to fall prey to sin, to its lie and in so doing disrespect our Creator. But to think that we are special and think highly of ourselves without God in the mix, it is arrogant and deeply disillusioning.