Updated: May 1
Today I’m going to go deep and begin by asking this deep question: Have you ever thought of God as being a Self?
We know that God created us in His image (Genesis 1:26-28). We can restate that in another way by saying God created us in the likeness of His Selfhood. In other words, God graced you and me by making us each into a self. It is difficult to describe the very lofty privilege of being a self. The marvel is so grand that it eludes us. We forget that we are a self because we hardly understand what a self is. So let me try to put it to you simply.
Every thinker is a self. Every knower is a self. Every little “c” creator is a self. Every lover is a self.
Only a self can think. Only a self can know. Only a self can be creative. Only a self can love.
Selfhood refers to your essential being that distinguishes you from everybody else. As a self, you are unique.
At Right On Mission we acknowledge the sheer marvel of the exquisiteness of your uniqueness by inviting you to get your Life Mission Statement, and Vision Statement, and Why Statement that, as a trilogy of statements, amazingly describes who you are.
You are somebody. You are a self. And you are so very important.
But now, God has hemmed us in — as existential selves — to require us to make a theological choice. You see, what lies at stake in theology is the self, the theologian. You!
To be clear, we don’t get to choose whether we will be hemmed in. I think it’s fairly noticeable that God has hemmed us in already. We are here. We exist. Now we must make a choice.
The choice is about our theology because our theology determines our viewpoint. Your unique viewpoint is largely determined by whether or not your theology is conscious, explicit, rational — and therefore practical and life-giving — or is it instead unthinking, unidentified, and irrational, and thus by default, contradictory and self-destructive.
Thinking is a function of theology. To think is to believe there is something to think about. To think is to believe (though perhaps subconsciously) that you are a self. A self is a being that is responsible because a self is a being that can choose.
Bad theology is non-thinking. When people stop thinking, we unself ourselves. We don’t bother to make a choice. We just lolly-gag around without much awareness. Next thing you know, we are doing irrational things such as complaining about problems that we refuse to resolve.
When we unself ourselves, we become too frightened to face our problems. We become too scared to make a choice. So we become passive and reactive, and thus unreasonable.
Without even realizing why, we end up neglecting theology because theology requires us to be a self. It literally requires selfhood to do theology.
This might sound a little trippy, but the truth is that if we don’t do theology, we do anti-theology. If we don’t do Reality, we get entangled in unreality. If we don’t face the Truth, we accept false doctrines that lure us astray from God and from our selfhood.
Here’s my big announcement: We lose ourselves when we don’t do theology. We fall for lies of utopian dreams that promise us prosperity and life apart from Christ. We vote for free money, for debt-funded government handouts, for boundaryless pseudo-identities, for religiosity, for get-rich-quick gimmicks, for Ponzi schemes, false prophets, for anything that removes us from a poignant sense of personal responsibility to steward our very selfhood in reverence of our Creator.
What lies at stake is YOU!
At Right On Mission we honestly care about you. We want you to be a self, so that you can be yourself and live your life on mission with moral courage.
Sarah Sumner, Ph.D., MBA