In studying this morning I came across this tidbit that I wrote years ago in an essay on the difference between true spirituality vs. individual virtue. I thought I’d share it…

In seeking life in Christ we seek a person to relate with. In seeking only virtue we strive for a product to have – we strive to overcome ourselves; we seek to be different; we aspire to be the “overman;” we try to be Christ – perfect in himself. One path leads to dependence, the other to pride. One leads to fellowship, the other to solitude. One leads to peace and grace, the other to strife and envy. The only way that we can resolve the seeming paradoxes between growth through right action and growth through relationship is to begin with conceiving of God as a Father who disciplines rather than a judge who judges.

Right stands alongside another in a position of independence – relationship alongside God is a position of dependence. In the end, it was largely Jesus’ claim that they needed to go through Him that caused the self-righteous Pharisees to stumble. The branch remains in the vine in an organic relationship. All virtues in the Christian life are thus relational virtues that help to further establish the branch in the vine, the person into Christ, the child into the family of God.



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