Monday, March 20, 2006

The Body Broken - Ch 7

In the last chapter of The Body Broken Jack Reese talks about the consequences of fear. Fear paralyzes; fear fragments; fear causes us to lash out; fear creates distrust; fear causes us to retreat into a protective shell.

Seeing others as I wish to be seen is critical to overcoming fear. If I recognize my own brokenness and need for grace then I can see others not as a threat but as broken and in need of grace. I am a member of a community of brokenness and it becomes my task to extend grace and peace to the other members of the community. He compares the church to a hospital and points out that we are all patients in need of healing.

He discusses three attitudes that promote peacemaking. The first is a commitment to confession. Frankly I'm afraid to confess to you some of the sin in my life because I don't want you to think less of me. If I can learn to acknowledge my own brokenness, and expect you to see me as broken, then I don't have to fear your reaction to my confession. We can mutually confess to one another that we are sinners. We also confess that God is God and we are not.

A second attitude that promotes peacemaking is a comittment to repentence. He quotes Frederick Buechner as saying "To repent is to come to your senses. It is not so much something you do as something that happens. True repentence spends less time looking at the past and saying, 'I'm Sorry,' than to the future and saying, 'Wow!'" Repentence involves at least two deeper meanings than a simple "I'm Sorry" - a true sense of remorse and new sense of relationship that results is a new way of acting.

A third attitude that promotes peacemaking is the decision to live "As If". We treat others "as if" they are forgiven, "as if" they are deserving of mercy, "as if" they treat us with forgiveness and mercy. We no longer view others as hurtful or destructive, but "as if" they treat us with kindness. I think another way of stating it is we intentionally try to see others with the eyes of Jesus.

1 comment:

Nathan said...

Good stuff Craig. You are articluating the book well. I think of the three the "as if" way of living is right and perhaps the most important. As we begin to live this way we will be driven to confession and repentance because we will find greater joy.