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Accepting Our Humanity
by Dan Stone

I have emphasized how God made us new creations at our new birth. That is rock bottom truth. In a sense, though, you have the same humanity now that you had before. Your spirit is new, but you didn't receive a new personality the moment you received Christ. You are still mostly outgoing, or reserved, or spontaneous, or considered. Your humanity is basically the same before and after. But can you glory in it now? If they put a new engine in your car, even though it still has rust spots, can you glory in your car?

That's what God is saying to us. "If I am willing to put a new engine in your car and glory in your car, can you glory in your car? Will you glory with Me?" That's one of the hardest lessons we have to learn: to glory in our humanity. To be satisfied with ourselves as we are. Is there a harder lesson?

Every one of us has something about our humanity-our personality, or for some of us our body-that we wish God would change so that we'd look better for Him, at least from our perspective. We think, "God, if you'd just take that thing away, I'd look better for You." That "thing" may be with us until they plant us six feet under.

We come to a place where we say, "Lord, even though that thing is still in my humanity, I'm going to praise You for it." You know what I discovered? The minute I started praising God for my impatience, I didn't see it anymore. I don't mean it disappeared, but I didn't have a fixation on it. I wasn't anxious about it any longer. That's the way God moves on in us, when we accept ourselves as He does.

I'm not advocating sin, by any means. I am saying that when we shift our focus from ourselves-some neutral aspect of our personality that we don't like, or, yes, even some flesh pattern that keeps recurring-and instead focus on Christ in us, God does His work in us. We are transformed into His image as we behold Him, not as we behold ourselves (2 Corinthians 3: 18).

God takes those things that are fixations in us when we're flesh-oriented and turns them into blessings when we're spirit-oriented. What I despised became a blessing in somebody else's life. Those things become the years the locusts ate that God restores, the dung that God makes into a compost pile. He lets it sit there until it's done a work in us. Then we can take our humanity back and say, "It's perfect to God right now. If He wants to do any altering of it, He is at work in me to will and do of His good pleasure. If He wants to change it, He who began a good work in me will bring it to pass. He can finish what He started."

I'm not going to take my humanity back on my own terms. I don't want it back that way. It took me long enough to get rid of it-as the source of my life. When you see it's no longer the starting point of your life, but rather the means by which God's life is manifested, you can take it back. You can accept yourself as you are. You can accept yourself as God's asset.

Finally we are able to say, "Lord, through my family tree and all of the circumstances I've come through, You've made the outer person that I am. You live in that person, and you set that person in the world in a way that's going to attract some people to You. I'm not going to attract everybody. The ones You don't attract through me, You'll catch through someone else."

That's why we all fit together, isn't it? We fit together into a whole. Nobody can attract everybody. I used to try to attract everybody. But there are all kinds of fruit. There are oranges. There are apples. There are lemons. God uses all kinds. I say to people, "I am a lemon." God attracts some through my lemonness.

We don't have to be anybody else; we don't have to submit to anyone trying to make us like anybody else, either. We are free to be ourselves. God is pleased to manifest His beautiful variety of expression through each of us in our uniqueness.

From: Stone, Dan, The Rest of the Gospel: When the partial Gospel has worn you out. Dallas: One Press. 2000. pgs. 115-117