Who Am I?

Four Hundred Texts on Love (Third Century) 14

Posted: February 9th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: St. Maximos the Confessor | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Four Hundred Texts on Love (Third Century) 14

27.  Since God is absolute existence, absolute goodness and absolute wisdom, or rather, to put it more exactly, since God is beyond all such things, there is nothing whatsoever that is opposite to Him. Creatures, on the other hand, all exist through participation and grace, while those endowed with intelligence and intellect also have a capacity for goodness and wisdom. Hence they do have opposites. As the opposite to existence they have non-existence, and as the opposite to the capacity for goodness and wisdom they have evil and ignorance. Whether or not they are to exist eternally lies Within the power of their Maker. But whether or not intelligent creatures are to participate in His goodness and wisdom depends on their own will.

God has no opposite. I think today a lot of people think of evil or the devil as an equal and opposite force to God, the yin to God’s yang. That’s not a Christian perspective. God stands in a category of his own with no opposite and no counterpart.

Instead, it’s creatures, intelligent creatures more specifically, that inherently express that sort of duality. The opposite of existence is non-existence, but since existence is part of our essence created and sustained by God, we have no control over it. And God does not begrudge existence to any of his creation. As such, we share in God’s eternal being for God will not deny us it.

But the beauty of God’s creation lies in the fact that intelligent beings can choose to participate or not participate in his goodness and wisdom. While angelic beings seem to fall wholly on one side or the other, perhaps because they are spiritual as opposed to bodily created beings, most of us as human beings choose both daily. At times we choose to participate and at times we do not. And over time our choices shape our nature and being. Some grow to love God and become godly. Others grow to despise God and become ungodly.

We are all created in the image of God, but we do not all attain the likeness of God.

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