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24
Apr

How Can It Be?

Posted on April 24th, 2015

One of the high points of our EH Leadership Conference this past week was Geri’s opening message around Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus. The following is an excerpt.

“Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”

“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.

You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things?

Nicodemus, one of the top spiritual leaders of all Israel, seems clueless to the deep transformational spirituality that Jesus is talking about. Jesus looks at him with a bit of shock and says: “How can it be that you’re a leader in God’s Kingdom and…

  • You have little or no emotional connection with your spouse, children, parents, siblings, friends, or congregation
  • You have not had emotional or physical intimacy with your spouse for weeks, months, years
  • You intimidate others with your anger
  • You are defensive, critical, and judgmental
  • You avoid conflict at all cost
  • You don’t feel, or grieve losses and disappointments
  • You don’t play or rest
  • You don’t spend time with God regularly
  • You can’t say “no” or disappoint certain people
  • You are so afraid of what others think
  • You are in such poor health due to poor eating and/or exercise
  • Your finances are so out of order
  • You escape pain through pornography, eating, overworking, gambling
  • You live in anxiety
  • You measure success by numbers and not love
  • You grow your ministry skills but not your loving skills
  • You store up resentments
  • You are separated from your spouse and no one knows about it
  • You are not approachable or warm
  • You are easily annoyed, irritated and offended
  • You don’t really practice what you preach
  • You are afraid to confront certain people
  • You haven’t had a day off in weeks, months, even years
  • You don’t know how to listen
  • You have no silence or reflection in your life

The spiritual formation journey isn’t easy. For Nicodemus to truly see the Kingdom of God would require a death to his illusions, fears and denials. The same holds true for us.   May St. Therese of Lisieux’s wisdom encourage you as it has often encouraged me as you give Jesus increasing access to your interior: “I have my faults, but I also have my courage.”

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