Incarnation

Chapter 6 in this groundbreaking book is about Incarnation. I admit I’m still having trouble wrapping my head around this one – it’s a difficult concept for me to fully grasp. If I had to summarize it at this point, it’s knowing how to love people well. The author says that there are three dynamics of incarnation found in the life of Jesus in order to love people: entering another’s world, holding on to yourself, and hanging between two worlds.

Entering another’s world involves:

1. Learning to Listen, laying aside questions, agendas, defenses, and simply seeking to understand the other person.
2. Learning to be Present. Jesus was never in a rush or distracted.
3. Validation. Making people feel heard and understood. This takes humility.
4. Exploring. After the first three, THEN ask questions and explore more territory.

Holding On To Yourself means not to lose yourself when you enter another person’s world. This requires self-discipline and self-leadership.

Hanging Between Two Worlds. When we choose to incarnate, we hang between our own world and the world of another person. We are called to remain faithful to who we are, not losing our essence, while at the same time entering into the world of another.

The back part of the chapter makes this huge statement: “Making incarnation a priority disrupts the church’s priority and definition of success”. If all you care about is more, bigger, better, then you can’t effectively jump into the messiness of people’s lives and truly care for them.

Fascinating stuff. I’m still absorbing.

Another quote: “The sign of the Spirit at work is supernatural love, not gifts or successful results.”

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