God: Reframing

I want to take a moment to introduce a specific concept to you, in case you’re not already familiar. Therapists and counselors sometimes use a technique called “reframing” to help a patient deal with a traumatic or otherwise negative experience.

One of the books I’m working on, which would use largely the material I’m putting forth in these most recent conversations, I would like to subtitle “Reframing the Fall of Man.” That’s my real goal.

A reframe is essentially a deliberate shift in perspective. The goal is to take a real, actual thing that is hurting the patient, and then change the patient’s perspective in such a way as to make that real thing USEFUL to him. It’s not a denial of the existence of the problem, but it’s a conscience decision to grow from the it, rather than to just be victimized by it.

Therapists, I’m sure, use lots of tricky techniques to trigger the reframe. Me, I just babble on and on until you agree to shift perspective just to get me to shut up. It’s worked so far….

But, essentially, that’s my goal here. I’m not trying to say there’s no such thing as sin, or that this life isn’t painful and unfair.

Life hurts. Horrible, horrible things happen every day.

Sin happens, and it’s really terrible. When we sin, we make ourselves into worse people, and we hurt everyone who knows and loves us.

These are real situations that are a persistent aspect of our lives, and we have, as a people, learned how to be constantly victimized by these things, feeling guilt or disgust at the God who could allow them to continue, and helplessness within ourselves. Or, those others among us, we may have chosen the denial route, pretending sin and injustice don’t get to us, and just living as the heathens do….

What we need is a shift in perspective. We need to face these things in our lives, understand why they’re there, and make ourselves better, not worse, as a result of them.

We need to reframe the Fall of Man, we need to reframe our relationship with God, we need to reframe our attitudes toward other people (saints and sinners both). We need to change the way we view everything so that we can stop feeling like the poor, wandering stranger just-a-passin’-through and start feeling like the Sons of God, adopted heirs of the King, and start living in this world as though we’re prepared for the next.

That’s my goal here. That’s what I’m after. Wish me luck.