Those of us who have struggled with mental illness, either in ourselves or in someone we love, have learned what it means to be not quite right.
And when we read the story of the Bible we discover that what we think of as troubled thinking— is a hint of something common to all of us. How else could defenders of Moses unwittingly demand the death of their God? How else could defenders of what is right— be so wrong?
From life and Scripture we learn why we see things not only as they are, but as we are. Together we learn from illusionists, con artists, political strategists, and wise counselors—that we see what we expect (and sometimes want) to see.
Maybe that’s why the Apostle Paul reminds us of our capacity to create an alternative reality that lives in our own minds as we measure ourselves by ourselves… and compare ourselves among ourselves.
I recall a wise counselor teaching me that when someone we love is struggling with mental illness, we may need to learn to help them in ways that will not seem to us— or to our loved one— quite right.
Yet as Jesus showed Temple Moneychangers— and those who demanded and carried out his crucifixion— it is the Spirit of God who enables us to do what is necessary for a “now and not yet” right-in- God’s eyes,” harvest of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.
Once again, could this be why our Savior offered us his Spirit, and not just his words?