An Admirable Life-20-Generosity in Flesh

"But God showed His great love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us!"

                        St. Paul's Letter to the Roman Church, Chapter Five, Verse Eight

"Lamech said to his wives:

Adah and Zillah, hear my voice;

wives of Lamech, pay attention to my words.

For I killed a young man for wounding me,

a younger man for striking me.

If Cain is to be avenged seven times over,

then for Lamech it will be seventy-seven times!"

               —-The Book of Moses Called "Beginnings"-Genesis 4:23,24

"These are the records of the descendants of Adam. On the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God: He created them male and female. When they were created, He blessed them and called them man."

                  —–The Book of Moses called "Beginnings," Genesis 5:1,2

   The Biblical record shows Jesus, the Christ, generous with His time, His life and His body. He demonstrates love with generosity of flesh.

   Think about generosity of the flesh. Lincoln's great pathos grows out of his generous spirit, generosity of the flesh. One could say Lincoln so disciplined himself inwardly that it is his spirit that is transcendent, not his unmistakable intellectual genius. When someone attacked Lincoln personally, Lincoln grew sad, not angry.

   He often said, "When someone attacks me, I never take it personally. When he stops, I never hold it against him."

   Churchill was often the focus of intense political attacks. Inevitably. some went personal. Churchill often took legal action to protect his reputation. He invariably won. After he won, Winston always showed real sympathy for his vanquished attacker. He welcomed many of his worst assailants back into his immediate circle.

   When the great American president, Richard Nixon, (yes, I said great) was attacked he grew angry rather than sad. He looked for ways to take revenge. He was more like Lamech of the Old Testament than Jesus of the New, in this one thing. Would Nixon have been remembered as the greatest President of the 20th century if he had practiced Lincolnian generosity of flesh?

   The Biblical record repeatedly reminds. That is, God tells man again and again he, man, is not a cosmic coincidence. God is the initiator of generosity in the flesh. The divine act of creation is generosity in the flesh. 

   The oeuvre of God is love, service, other-centeredness, utter self-giving. God cannot be expressed in part or whole without generosity. All the history of God with Man paints with this brush; generosity in the flesh. 

   Is there any generosity apart from the flesh? If so, it can be symbolic  but not actual. If we are right to say God is love, we are also right to say God's love is always played out in love of man in the flesh. God is generous to flesh and blood. God's most generous act in the flesh of His Son, in fact. Therefore, surrogate generosity will not do for it is not of God. Giving is not generosity. It is symbolic. Only the event is actual.

 

 

 

 

 

Opinions expressed here are mine alone.

 

2 thoughts on “An Admirable Life-20-Generosity in Flesh”

  1. Ah – embodiment! Indeed there can be no thing asserted that is not practiced in the flesh. Otherwise religion devolves into spiritual self-stimulation. ( I kept it clean Doc.) And so, generosity cannot be offered in a surrogate manner. Pressed further, what we would have to commit to then is living out Jesus in the flesh rather than in our heads, and frankly not in our hearts either since that is simply a description of the seat of our emotions which we now realize is located in the mind not the red thing with chambers, valves, etc.
    Herein is the grand error of our intellectualizing – we rationalize the points at which we live out the Way of Jesus to those points requiring the least sacrifice to us which then vacates the cross. This is the place where we are most susceptible to criticism – not our penchant to point to a metaphysics or phenomenology.

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