Summary: 1. You have a vision to receive. 2. You have a job to perform. 3. You have a person to become.
One of the blights of the theory of evolution is that it not only devalues God and attempts to ignore him, but that it also devalues human beings — looking on them as mere animals driven by desire and instinct. One of the glories of the Christian faith is that it not only exalts God, but also has an exalted opinion of men and women. It understands that we are the creation of God and are important in his design. God has placed value on us. We have been given honor and glory by our Creator. The problem is that we fail, and some refuse, to believe it. Freud and others have complained that we have talked ourselves into the illusion that we are immortal beings — a glorious, but misleading dream. But we now live in a culture that no longer dreams of immortality and believes that we are mere mortal beasts. We have believed the opposite lie. Peter Kreeft describes our present culture saying: “We are immortals dreaming the terrible dream of mere mortality.”
The Bible tells us that God has destined us for glory, in spite of our weaknesses and momentary problems. It says, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:16-17). Something inside of me jumps when I read that. We will not just be living in the glory of heaven, but we will be a part of heaven’s glory — now that is an exalted view of humanity!
C. S. Lewis, in his essay “The Weight of Glory” says, “It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship. . . . It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal.”
How do we understand our glory, and what does it have to do with the role we are to play in the world? First of all, if you are going to realize your full potential as a child of God, is: You have a vision to receive. We usually see ourselves as the world sees us. We see ourselves as either smart or dumb, poor or rich, beautiful or plain, successful or unsuccessful, according to how we compare with other people. But we fail to see ourselves the way God sees us. We need a biblical vision to do that. Our lives can bring glory to God, for Jesus said about his followers: “glory has come to me through them” (John 17:10). But our lives also share the glory of God. It was Jesus who prayed in the Garden about his followers, saying: “I have given them the glory that you gave me” (John 17:22).
I often hear some Christians say, “Well, I’m just a sinner like everybody else.” I understand what they are saying. They mean that they make mistakes like everybody else. And occasionally they may fall into a sin and have to repent of it, but we are not, or should not be, “sinners just like everybody else.” We are not in the habit of sinning. We do not carelessly and casually sin. We have stopped our sinning in that way. We are in love with God and we obey him out of that love. We used to be sinners, but God has taken that from our lives and freed us from that bondage. As the Bible says, “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2).
The problem with thinking of ourselves as sinners is that it can become a convenient excuse to sin. But, most of all, it gives us an identity that is so far below how God sees us. And that kind of vision limits us and keeps us from becoming all that God knows we can be. It is like calling someone a moron. Call them that long enough and they act like a moron and believe they are a moron — even if they are actually quite brilliant. Call yourself a sinner and you will not rise above that. You will not believe you can do any better. But call yourself a child of God who shares his glory and see the difference it makes in your attitude about yourself. I’m not just trying to pump up your self-esteem, I’m trying to get you to see the reality of who you are.