Thursday, January 29, 2009

e*b week 3 - On Being Fully Human

For: The Institute of Contemporary and Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen's University, Essentials Blue Online Worship Theology Course with Dan Wilt

The Question:

     Fully Human - What Does It Mean To Be A Human Being?

My Answer:

Being fully human means that I am an image of the Most High God. And when I worship God, when I truly focus on Him and lock my gaze with His, I am most like what He created me to be: a human.

“…because you were made in God’s image, worship makes you more truly human. When you gaze in love and gratitude at the God in whose image you were made, you do indeed grow. You discover more of what it means to be fully alive.” [1]

Several years ago when I first read Waking the Dead by John Eldridge, the concept of being fully alive completely swept me away. It was an epiphany moment, one that set my feet on the rapid track to becoming more alive, more fully human, as I embraced who God had created me to be.

Prior to that experience, a continual battle raged within me over what I thought, or had been taught, was true righteousness. I would down play any gifts or talents someone might compliment me on, make sure I was doing what I “should” be doing, and reject any lingering desires that did not fit into my perceived role at the time.

Then came aforementioned light bulb moment along with several opportunities to make choices regarding what I was going to believe to be true about God and about myself.

I began to believe that since God was the Creator, then it was okay for me to embark on artistic pursuits. I no longer squelched that desire within me to buy colorful pens, paints, paper. I allowed myself to doodle and to make art and to call myself an artist (albeit an amateur one). I allowed myself to admit that I was intelligent and smart and sometimes witty. I started to dream bigger and to see myself as God sees me.

I realized that I had been practicing a false humility, true humility being when I fully embrace who God has called me to be…to be fully human, an image of Himself.

Gentry talks about righteousness being right-relatedness to God and to myself. There is in each of us a desire to be great and to do great things. This is part of God’s image. So when I diminish what God has placed in me and hide it, not sharing with the community He’s placed me in, I’m walking in “non-right relatedness” with myself and with God. I’m losing my humanness. [2]

I’m supposed to share this image of God (myself) within my community so that I can then in turn experience the images of God around me and celebrate their humanness as well as my own. [3]

Being fully human means that I am more responsive to God [4], more like Jesus [5], a unified person [6], much more celebratory [7]. I’m full of life, and I’m life-giving.

“Of all people, we should be the most free, life and interesting.” [8] Let it be so.

1. N.T. Wright, Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense (New York: HarperCollins, 2006), 148.
2. Wilt/Gentry (Podcast: “Two Brothers on Righteousness”)
3. Dan Wilt, Essentials in Worship Theology: the Nature of Human Beings, 27
4. Dan Wilt, “Exploring Our Roots: The Contemporary Worship Movement” (IW Masters All), 326.
5. Fitch, “Inner Living, Outer Giving,” (IW Masters All), 141.
6. Steve Robbins, “The Doctrine of Man and the Worship of God,” (IW Masters All), 77
7. Morphew, “The Restoration of Celebration,” (IW Masters All) 113.
8. ibid, 162.


  1. Heather

    I really liked reading "Waking the Dead" by Eldredge too. In fact I'm trying to read it again during this course. My eyes were opened to Irenaeus' quote, "The glory of God is Man fully Alive. It was like a light going on inside my head. Why should we go on doing things we really don't like, or haven't even been made for? One thing about the book it showed me I can bring glory to God by just being myself. I used to struggle with devotions thinking that was the only thing God was interested in me doing. But He's interested in me, and the abilities He's given me and I can run, or bike, or play guitar and in all that give Him glory. I also like the daily prayer for freedom. I started reading through it daily like he suggested. God delivered me. The story is I went to a song writing weekend, my first one, in 3 Hills Alta. During one of the sessions I felt wounded after listening to one critical speaker, and after that I could write anymore songs anymore. I tried and tried but just couldn't get it. It was a few years later when I got Eldredge's book and stared praying that prayer daily and God healed of that "writer block" and I'm so grateful.