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Creative Personhood
by Richard Zenith

Love is creative. Love is making a decision, a commitment to another. Love is not a matter of doing good deeds. At one time I was constantly preoccupied with performing good works. I participated in church groups and charitable organizations, and also did good deeds for individuals that came in contact with me. All my activity had its merits, but I realized in time that I was not looking at the people I was helping. I did not really know them. Long ago I had become an unthinking machine that did good deeds for others. My endless good deeds were an escape to avoid God's call to personhood. Ironically, my good deeds for other people were also an escape from actually loving those people.

Love is personal or it is not love; that is why the God of love is a Person. I was doing many good and noble deeds, but I was refusing to be the full person that God had made me. I had forgotten the last three words of St. John's injunction: "Let us love in deed and IN TRUTH." God showed me that I could only love IN TRUTH when I accepted His true word about me--that I was a free son, one to whom He had given the right and the responsibility to share in His creative process of love.

To be whole lovers we must be whole persons. A whole person? I mean that we must be willing to step out and make choices. For so long we have been taught that it is somehow virtuous to avoid making ourselves stand out. So many of us feel guilty about pursuing our desires and our goals. We are so suspicious of ourselves, always questioning ourselves: "What's my REAL motive? Isn't this a selfish desire?" And so forth. The net result is that in certain circles a person is actually considered "saintly" if he is patronizing, dull, and lifeless. But we have been created to be great, creative persons. God does not want us to be smiling dim-wits under the guise of some vague "humility." No, He made us to rule His universe with Him.

Let us no longer be afraid of ourselves and our desires. Do we have secret yearnings? Do we have certain longings which we have not expressed? We are full persons, ready for any task. And as full persons, love flows out spontaneously.

taken from Creative Personhood by Richard Zenith.