In-Sight: Let’s Start With “Doing Human”

Wherever terrorism and violence occur, they leave us with the question, “How did we get here?”

The question does not lead to explanation, but to examination.  It leads us to wonder how terrorist ideology could ever find a home in the human mind.

Hoe did we get to the place where hatred is valued more than love—where killing is viewed as better than giving life?  How is tearing down better than building up?  How would a mind even entertain (much less act on) the notion that destruction is better than construction—that taking life is to be preferred to enriching it?

It makes me shudder to think how deeply sin can pervert our perspective on even the most basic things.  And it gives me pause to remember that no one is safe when even one person would rather see someone die than live.

Spiritual formation begins at the “human” level before it can move into things like spiritual gifts and holy practices. Our homes and schools become the main means where “humanity” is defined and modeled. At church on Sunday, there is nothing more important for us to do than encourage faith formation “the other six days.” Our worship and our Christian education must not be a visit to a “spiritual island,” but more nearly an equipping time for living in the world as decent human beings and followers of the One who made Love his aim.

God always begins at the fundamental level. Spirituality cannot stand apart from the prior exhortation, “Let’s do human!”

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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