…To obey the law of the land leaves us our constitutional freedom, but not the freedom to follow our own consciences wherever they lead.

To obey the dictates of our own consciences leaves us freedom from the sense of moral guilt, but not the freedom to gratify our own strongest appetites.

To obey our strongest appetites for drink, sex, power, revenge, or whatever else leaves us the freedom of an animal to take what we want when we want it, but not the freedom of a human being to be human.

-Frederick Buechner, Beyond Words


Some times I get the feeling that I am supposed to be a stone statue when nothing could be further from the truth.  I think God would rather we mess up once in a while than never attempt to live at all (and no—for the record and those who consider themselves God’s policemen—I am not condoning that we go out and commit some big fat sin because God has no problem with it—because he does). 

We have rules all around us that ask us to do that which we can’t do or to abstain from that which we most want to do—and even when we can accomplish or live up to half of these self-sanctioned rules—adhering to these dictates would mean our ceasing to be human.  God never demands we check our humanity at the door—it is religion that asks us to do that.  God’s idea of following Jesus doesn’t include doing away with fun, desire, or even good sex for that matter—in it’s proper place of course.  Following Jesus is to be a life of joy—not sadomasochism.

As I read my copy of the New Testament I am ever reminded that Jesus went to parties and the like—despite the ire of the religious establishment. And I’m certain that some within his own ranks wished he’d have stayed at home in the Synagogue (but Jesus lived among the people).  It could even be argued that he was the life of the party (no pun intended, I promise).  Jesus laughed and he really made some people mad (and I’ll go out on a limb and say his laughing had much to do with their being so upset—stiff-necked religious people consider it their God given duty  to stop any fun before it begins you know).  Jesus may have even teed it up a time or two in his sandals over at the country club—although, I’m not so sure that playing a round of golf in a toga in the middle of the desert heat would have been all that comfortable.

We see Jesus being the first guy out in the morning to go fishing and also read of him taking a nap in the stern of a boat—so it’s not hard to imagine him getting his beard trimmed up or him polishing off a stack of pancakes and going back for seconds. 

Although Jesus was fully God—he was also fully human.

 This is the family tree of the human race: When God created the human race, he made it godlike, with a nature akin to God. He created both male and female and blessed them, the whole human race.    (Genesis 5:1-2, The Message Bible)

We do well to remember that we are free to be human ourselves—as a matter of fact—it is us Jesus-followers who should be most human.