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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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Christians should reflect the Trinity’s giving and receiving of love

Christians should reflect the Trinity’s giving and receiving of love

In 325 A.D., the Bishops of the world met at the Council of Nicea to deal with a controversy created by the teachings of Arius, a churchman who was trying to maintain the biblical idea that “God is one.” He refused to accept the profession of faith that Jesus was divine. They solved the problem when the Council agreed: “God eternally exists as three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and each person is fully God, and there is one God.”

Each person is giving and receiving love from the other. The Father, Son, and Spirit are forever loving one another. So the question is not “What does the Trinity look like?” but rather, “How do we look like the Trinity?”

We are made in God’s image – the image of a community of love. How does our life reflect the constant giving and receiving that is going on in the Trinity?

Being in relationships is our way of being who we are called to be – people made in God’s image. Therefore, working at our marriages, friendships, communities, is a holy and sacred activity. It deserves our energy and time. Very often, our jobs, our taking care of our homes, our hobbies, our outside interests, can take up so much of our time and energy that there is nothing left over for our wives or husbands, children, parents or friends.

Unfortunately, every relationship is not an image of the relationships within the Triune God. The relationships of the Trinity are life-giving. Some human relationships are not life-giving, but death-dealing. They take away what it really means to be human.

Some relationships are evil. Some are closed or built on a selfishness of two people who do not really care for anyone else. Gang members are faithful to other gang members, but they would just as soon kill you as look at you. Some people find themselves in a cult where the community is closed in upon itself.

Some friendships are built on what people can get out of the relationship. Some people are in relationships where they are being unfaithful to their committed spouse. Each time we make any relationship a little stronger, a little healthier, we are becoming more like the Triune God, who is Love.

We must pay attention to all of our relationships – to nature, to one another, to God, and ourselves. When we neglect any of these, at best something is missing in our lives, but at worst, people suffer.

What do we need to do? First, we have to weed out and end any destructive relationships we may find ourselves in currently. This can be a very difficult thing to do and may require the help of other people – either a trusted friend, a counselor, or some kind of support group.

Trying to end an unhealthy relationship on our own is not the best idea. The complications involved in such a task can prevent us from completing it. The confusion and emotional turmoil that are often present in such relationships can stop us from taking the life-giving steps we need to take. We can only attain this urgent and difficult task with much prayer and support.

Secondly, we need to ask where we can build or rebuild the relationships that we have now – the relationships that God has sent into our lives to help us become the persons that God wants us to be. This also can be a difficult undertaking because it usually means some significant changes. Change, even change for the better, takes a great deal of pain and effort.

Thirdly, we need to repair the damages we have done to our environment. We cannot devastate parts of God’s creation and not be prepared to deal with the resulting consequences. People suffer when making money becomes the only priority.

In summary, when we work at our marriages, when we pay attention to our work relationships, when we are careful not to damage or deform nature, when we are attentive to our spiritual needs and desires, then we are discovering traces of the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.