Saved For A Purpose

Scripture: Titus 2:11-3:8

Saved For A Purpose

Some people are pushing back on the culture’s craving for “authenticity” and being “yourself.” As far as I can tell, the pushback comes from a that these desires to “be yourself”, “tell it like it is”, “speak your truth”, and “you, do you” have become cultural watchwords to mask any and every kind of behavior and attitude. Some wonder aloud, “What if YOU are wrong?” Isn’t it harmful to give tacit support for harmful, misguided or immoral ideas or actions?

It may be true that many people do use “authenticity” as a code for whatever I am doing or thinking should go unquestioned, because it’s “me.” If you are racist, sexist, unfaithful to your spouse, Islamaphobic, homophobic, addicted to substances, lying, greedy, destroying the environment, caught in patterns of destructive behavior, or self-aggrandizing, then those are real problems. They represent just a sample of behaviors or attitudes which scripture names as ways we veer hazardously off of the Way of Jesus. We don’t sanction destructive, selfish, debilitating, or dehumanizing behavior.

Paul understood the good news of Christ as redeeming and saving our lives for a purpose. Salvation is not merely a status to flaunt or only a future experience. Salvation is the grace of Jesus Christ pooling at the deepest places of our personal and systemic brokenness and sinfulness. This grace does not cast out all the ways our lives and institutions have become twisted, warped, and bent-in upon themselves. The grace of Jesus the Messiah brings awareness that we are both flawed on our own and extravagantly loved as people created in the image of God. It allows us to stop performing as if we already have gotten our act together. It allows us to let go of control and allow Another to take the lead in our lives. We renounce all the ways we continually mess up our own lives and the world. We embrace the Way God is reconciling the world through Jesus Christ.

Much of our culture has pushed back on the idea we should have to posture a certain way of living, if it is merely play acting. Rather than re-entering this sort of pseudo-morality as a make we put on, we can model to the world how the grace of Jesus really does meet us in the mess of our lives, and invites us into deeper freedom, healing, and wholeness. Then our world can both name its flaws and find its freedom. This is salvation with a purpose. A salvation which transforms lives and communities.

– Christopher Mack