Our relationship with God, through Jesus Christ, develops into an incredible friendship with God (John 15:15). Though we exist in relationships and are profoundly impacted by it, we do not become the other, or get absorbed into the other. Our identity survives. That’s the first thing.True friendship with God is always transforming. It never leaves us unchanged. Apostle Paul explains this dynamic, saying, “We all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory” (2 Cor. 3:18). It is a case of reflected glory.But there is another side to this story. Sin makes friendship with God impossible. Whether personal, social or structural, sin is never good for us. Its effects are always harmful, disabling, and disfiguring, leaving us as injured victims of a heinous crime. The Bible warns us that sin will always turn bitter and separate us from God.A great amount of evil in the world, perhaps the bulk of it, originates within the human spirit; and this toxic wellspring must be repaired. The biblical diagnosis of the human condition is that people need radical renewal from the inside out. This is why Christian spirituality takes the challenge of self so seriously; practiced self-examination, intentionally cultivated virtue, and embraced spiritual disciplines. The goal is transformation of heart; the command-centre of one’s entire being. The gospel includes the good news that God is not only our Saviour but our Healer (Ex. 15:26). He doesn’t want us to permanently carry wounds that our wayward behaviour inflicts. That is why, time and again, prophets urged people to return to God with their whole hearts for inner healing and healing of the land (II Ch. 7:14). Christ, our Saviour and Friend, came to heal and make us wholesome persons. Let us invest in our relationship with God and benefit eternally.

 

 

 

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