“… be filled with the Holy Spirit.” – Ephesians 5:18a
We often make statements that to others appear as self-deluding. When I was growing up, such statements were greeted with the comment, “You are full of it.” (We will have to stop there because the etymology of that expression refers to something very nasty that you are full of.) But for Christians, being full of something refers to being filled with the Holy Spirit of God.
Some Christian groups use this command as a code word for a specific kind of religious experience or as a litmus test of a certain type of Christianity that they believe to be superior to all other forms of Christianity. I tend to disagree with both usages but that is a theological issue beyond the scope of what I want to say today
We fill our lives with many things — jobs, family, and even religion. All in pursuit of happiness or fulfillment or meaning. But those things are often delusions because they are expressions of a delusional belief that say, “It’s all about me.” For too many our highest aim is self-satisfaction not significance. We believe our lives have meaning when we get to be who we want to be.
Such an attitude ultimately requires us to ignore our neighbor, be indifferent to our community, and abandon any true responsibility for our world.
The one true antidote to this outcome is not saturate our lives with self but to let the Spirit indwell us shaping us and empowering us to be people whose lives are immeasurably and whose impact brings God’s wholeness to all.
(C) 2014 by Stephen L Dunn