Alexander Pope famously said, “To err is human.” It is true that all humans, save Jesus, have erred. But error is not the hallmark of being human. To be human is to live as the Creator designed us.
To emphasize this truth, Dietrich Bonhoeffer spoke about being fully human. In his wonderful biography on the German pastor, Eric Metaxas explains what Bonhoeffer meant by the term.
A major theme for Bonhoeffer was that every Christian must be “fully human” by bringing God into his whole life, not merely into some “spiritual” realm. To be an ethereal figure who merely talked about God, but somehow refused to get his hands dirty in the real world in which God had placed him, was bad theology. Through Christ, God had shown that he meant us to be in this world and to obey him with our actions in this world.
–Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Prophet, Martyr, Spy, p. 361.
Bonhoeffer lived this out during the days of Adolf Hitler’s horrific reign over Germany. It eventually led him to become part of a conspiracy which attempted to assassinate the madman.
Into what world has God placed us? Can we ignore the hellish direction our culture is plunging? Can we content ourselves with Sunday gatherings that effect little if any of our Monday through Saturday weeks? What does being fully human look like in the home, the workplace, our leisure activities and in our culture?
Whatever else it means, it surely means that we are to be under the lordship of Christ in every sphere of our life. We are to follow Christ when we are interacting with our families. We are to be disciples when we punch in at work. We are to be Christian in our times of leisure. We are to be subjects of the King while being citizens in the world.
If following Christ does not evidence itself in these “worldly” spheres, Bonhoeffer would say that we have a faulty theology…and therefore a faulty ethic.
As you pray today, ask the Lord to lead you in being fully human in your non-spiritual realms. Do not settle for being merely human. Be fully human.