Relating out of the Imago Dei - Submission Part 4

For the last few days, I have been thinking over a lot of things, many of which, affect greatly this conversation we have been having on what submission means in relationships. When God told us to submit one to another, he wanted us live under his headship. Only there can such submission be healthy and good, when it is aligned with Christ. To do that, we need to live out of our Imago Deis, the images of God within ourselves, when in relationship with one another. This is our topic for today.

This is a diagram I took from Katie's book, Living in the Intersection, which will aid us in understanding the different ways we can relate to another out of our Imago Dei.


The first way of relating is from our Imago Dei to someone's false self, their hard candy coated shell. Of this relationship, Katie tells us, "By speaking the truth in love, Christ can be dangerous to another's False Self. Jesus does not placate or stroke the False Self, but rather challenges it with the truth of who one is called to be. That is a picture of what exhortation means. To exhort someone is to call them to a higher place, to challenge one to excellence. Exhortation is a gift of the Spirit. One cannot truly exhort another apart from the Spirit." This exhortation is spoken in love. After all, grace must come before truth. It is much easier to listen to correction if you know the person correcting you is doing it out of love and care for you as a person. Such speaking is only done out of God's movement, never out of a need to be heard.

If the other person is operating out of their wounded self, we will be a safe person for them. God, and in turn us, never adds to a person's shame, only diminishes it. Katie says, "When we flow from a Christ center, we will have a healing effect on people when they share their sin and shame." We are called to be the light in dark places, accepting and compassionate, bearing the truth that no sin or shame diminishes a person's worth. We are to remember, we all struggle with sin, none of us is more holy than another. There is no judgement in love, only grace and truth. After all, God loves each of us in a special way and he wants us to learn to see each other through his eyes, to be able to see their Imago Dei. Though we all have wounded selves to work through, we are all truly and deeply beautiful. The more closely we are connected with God, the easier it is to live out of his grace for ourselves and to live it out with others.

Even if another has bad boundaries and is operating out of their false or wounded self, we can always live out of our Imago Deis no matter how the other person chooses to behave. That is our gift from Christ, not being bound by the behavior of another, being free to choose for ourselves to put love and truth first in our lives.

When speaking of true intimacy, Imago Dei to Imago Dei, Katie relates to us, "True intimacy is to know and be known in our innermost self. It is when a person flows out of the Imago Dei and touches the Christ center in another.... Out of that place we take joy in one another, we delight in one another." Larry Crabb puts it as touching the "Christ in you out of the Christ in me." It is out of this place we can truly love and support one another, encouraging and lifting each other up as Christ would have us do. God meant for us to be living out of him/her when Paul says for us to submit to one another as to Christ. If we are both living out of our Imago Dei, out of our peanut, then we can be unified in spirit.

Knowing and living out of our Imago Dei in relationship to God, ourselves, others, and the earth is the whole goal of what I am writing about. In the coming days I will be talking about the drama triangle and the lion/lamb metaphor. The reason both of these are a problem (as I will explain) is when we are caught up in it or unbalanced, we are not living out the image of God within us.

I cannot understate the importance of learning to live out of our Imago Dei and learning to see the Imago Dei in others. When someone hurts us or causes us pain, it is so important to remember they too, are the image of God and we need to learn to see and love that, who they truly are, instead of getting caught up in the wounded or false self. Jesus did that. We are called to do the same. We are not to slander them, say hurtful things behind their backs. Christian or not it doesn't matter- we are to treat everyone, no matter who they are, with deep respect and love just as we would treat Jesus for that is exactly who we are seeing. Even if they've hurt us, even if they are still hurting us. We do not have to let them walk over us, (have good boundaries!) but we can still love them. I know for myself if others had not lived out of their Imago Deis and loved me and spoke truth to me when I was living out of my false and wounded selves, I would still have truck loads of shame and "chocolate" in my life. By living out the image of God, we can touch lives in ways we will never comprehend the full depth of. We can be the hands and grace of God to one another. It's a beautiful thing.

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

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Walking the Sea: Relating out of the Imago Dei - Submission Part 4

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Relating out of the Imago Dei - Submission Part 4

For the last few days, I have been thinking over a lot of things, many of which, affect greatly this conversation we have been having on what submission means in relationships. When God told us to submit one to another, he wanted us live under his headship. Only there can such submission be healthy and good, when it is aligned with Christ. To do that, we need to live out of our Imago Deis, the images of God within ourselves, when in relationship with one another. This is our topic for today.

This is a diagram I took from Katie's book, Living in the Intersection, which will aid us in understanding the different ways we can relate to another out of our Imago Dei.


The first way of relating is from our Imago Dei to someone's false self, their hard candy coated shell. Of this relationship, Katie tells us, "By speaking the truth in love, Christ can be dangerous to another's False Self. Jesus does not placate or stroke the False Self, but rather challenges it with the truth of who one is called to be. That is a picture of what exhortation means. To exhort someone is to call them to a higher place, to challenge one to excellence. Exhortation is a gift of the Spirit. One cannot truly exhort another apart from the Spirit." This exhortation is spoken in love. After all, grace must come before truth. It is much easier to listen to correction if you know the person correcting you is doing it out of love and care for you as a person. Such speaking is only done out of God's movement, never out of a need to be heard.

If the other person is operating out of their wounded self, we will be a safe person for them. God, and in turn us, never adds to a person's shame, only diminishes it. Katie says, "When we flow from a Christ center, we will have a healing effect on people when they share their sin and shame." We are called to be the light in dark places, accepting and compassionate, bearing the truth that no sin or shame diminishes a person's worth. We are to remember, we all struggle with sin, none of us is more holy than another. There is no judgement in love, only grace and truth. After all, God loves each of us in a special way and he wants us to learn to see each other through his eyes, to be able to see their Imago Dei. Though we all have wounded selves to work through, we are all truly and deeply beautiful. The more closely we are connected with God, the easier it is to live out of his grace for ourselves and to live it out with others.

Even if another has bad boundaries and is operating out of their false or wounded self, we can always live out of our Imago Deis no matter how the other person chooses to behave. That is our gift from Christ, not being bound by the behavior of another, being free to choose for ourselves to put love and truth first in our lives.

When speaking of true intimacy, Imago Dei to Imago Dei, Katie relates to us, "True intimacy is to know and be known in our innermost self. It is when a person flows out of the Imago Dei and touches the Christ center in another.... Out of that place we take joy in one another, we delight in one another." Larry Crabb puts it as touching the "Christ in you out of the Christ in me." It is out of this place we can truly love and support one another, encouraging and lifting each other up as Christ would have us do. God meant for us to be living out of him/her when Paul says for us to submit to one another as to Christ. If we are both living out of our Imago Dei, out of our peanut, then we can be unified in spirit.

Knowing and living out of our Imago Dei in relationship to God, ourselves, others, and the earth is the whole goal of what I am writing about. In the coming days I will be talking about the drama triangle and the lion/lamb metaphor. The reason both of these are a problem (as I will explain) is when we are caught up in it or unbalanced, we are not living out the image of God within us.

I cannot understate the importance of learning to live out of our Imago Dei and learning to see the Imago Dei in others. When someone hurts us or causes us pain, it is so important to remember they too, are the image of God and we need to learn to see and love that, who they truly are, instead of getting caught up in the wounded or false self. Jesus did that. We are called to do the same. We are not to slander them, say hurtful things behind their backs. Christian or not it doesn't matter- we are to treat everyone, no matter who they are, with deep respect and love just as we would treat Jesus for that is exactly who we are seeing. Even if they've hurt us, even if they are still hurting us. We do not have to let them walk over us, (have good boundaries!) but we can still love them. I know for myself if others had not lived out of their Imago Deis and loved me and spoke truth to me when I was living out of my false and wounded selves, I would still have truck loads of shame and "chocolate" in my life. By living out the image of God, we can touch lives in ways we will never comprehend the full depth of. We can be the hands and grace of God to one another. It's a beautiful thing.

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

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1 Comments:

At October 15, 2010 at 4:27 PM , Anonymous Tim Magee said...

Experiences at work that I've had has included things like being asked to come out to the parking lot to fight. This was my boss, and this was the tip of a big pile negative stuff.
I expect white collar people can be at least as ruthless in less direct ways.
Imago Dei. I'm thinking about it. Can a full on sociopath be loved, or only feared? Biological survival is pretty much contingent with the higher attributes of being human where earthly existence is concerned. Some people are scary to the point where it is hard for me to philosophize about them, or feel much but fear. Some characters are fine to do any violence to others without a second thought.
Sometimes fear can be a lifesaver if it results in appropriate action or de-escalating words.
I admit that nearly all people I now deal with day-to-day are not scary, but with a sense of idealism damaged by my life experiences, I admit to desiring a very thick coating a lot of times.

 

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