Shaped into our true being
We believe with Christian counselor Harry Schaumburg that there can be no sexual maturity apart from spiritual maturity and that there is no spiritual maturity without a corresponding sexual maturity. The link between sexuality and spirituality may shock some, but the Bible draws a clear connection between the two throughout the Scriptures. Yet, the temptation so many of us face is to shape ourselves by ourselves. Pastor Eugene Peterson argues in Eat This Book that only God can shape us into our true being and he does so through his revealed word, the Holy Scriptures.
“Our lives, that is, our experience–what we need and want and feel–are important in forming the Christ-life in us. Our lives are, after all, the stuff that is being formed. But they are not the text for directing the formation itself. Spirituality means, among other things, taking ourselves seriously. It means going against the cultural stream in which we are incessantly trivialized to the menial status of producers and performers, constantly depersonalized behind the labels of our degrees or our salaries. But there is far more to us than our usefulness and our reputation, where we’ve been and who we know; there is the unique, irreproducible, eternal, image-of-God me. A vigorous assertion of personal dignity is foundational to spirituality.
“There is a sense in which we can never take ourselves too seriously. We are serious business indeed. We are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ (Ps. 139:14 NRSV). But it is possible to conceive of ourselves too narrowly, for there is far more to us than our genes and hormones, our emotions and aspirations, our jobs and ideals. There is God. Most, if not all, of what and who we are has to do with God. If we try to understand and form ourselves by ourselves we leave out most of ourselves.
“And so the Christian community has always insisted that Holy Scripture that reveals God’s ways to us is necessary and basic to our formation as human beings. In our reading of this book we come to realize that what we need is not primarily informational, telling us things about God and ourselves, but formational, shaping us into our true being.”