community · Creativity · Faith

The Problem with Divinity

I think that the root of the problem with Divinity begins with a human flaw: self-esteem issues. I know you’ve been in my shoes before: the whole feeling of inadequacy. Unworthiness. Loneliness. Rejection. Sometimes, it sucks to be human. Not always, but there are days.

I could play the “Millennials” card, or the “nature/nurture” card, or definitely the “social media” card… blame my personal problems away on someone else. While I think all of these things impact how we see the world and our place in it, that’s not my purpose of the day. I don’t want to play the blame game. I want to talk about the Divine. Or rather, the problem with Divinity.

I recently read a blog post where a reader talked about her struggle for a consistent (or even existent) prayer life, and I could really sympathize. For reasons unknown to me, I have been in a mild “dark night of the soul” for longer than I care to admit, where I’ve been praying and doing my best but not feeling much connection to God like I used to. It happens, from time to time. To a lot of us, I think.

Anyway, this blogger posted a link to a prayer course she was going to take, in hopes to develop her prayer life. I thought, “oh, that’s cool. Maybe I could try it too.” Now, I am pretty specific about my denominations and the quality of the theology since that was one of my majors in college, but I thought, well, there’s got to be some good I can take out of this, right?

I clicked the link. The website was done well, with pretty red/orange colors I liked. I was sold on the layout… until I read the content. Over and over again, its main theme was this: Find your Divine self. It was written in the promo so many times that I knew I could never get over it. So, nope, this course is definitely not for me.

There’s a problem with Divinity. But it has nothing to do with the Divine himself (I use the word “himself” metaphorically; I know God doesn’t have a gender, but it’s easier to write it this way. Just roll with it). The problem goes back to the self-esteem bit I mentioned at the beginning of the article.

Rather than despising oneself and being miserable all day due to self-esteem, some people proceed in the opposite direction: I am divine. I just need to recover my own divine spark. And this is where the problem with Divinity shows up.

The problem with Divinity is this: we aren’t divine. We live surrounded by the Divine, and the Divine does live in us and moves us to act in certain ways, but we, human beings, bear a human body and a human soul. We are not the Divine, and we do not have a divine nature.

There’s nothing that can be done about it, and no, it’s not bad to be human, despite what some peope think. Being human is REAL, in all its pain and joy, colors and greys, happiness and misery. Being really human, really alive, is to be authentic, and to know our flaws as well as our strengths. Jesus was fully Divine, but he was also fully human… if God can become human, take on human flesh, then we certainly can’t be all bad.

It’s hard to tell people this, I think. With such a blatant disregard for spirituality, I’m happy to see anything at all posted on the topic of spirituality, even if it’s the kind I don’t agree with, because it means people are actually talking about it. Thinking about it. And I don’t want to stifle that spark: their human spark of return to God, not some “divine” spark they are (or were once) made of.

It’s an important clarification to make. If we all believed we were tiny gods with divinity within us, that would leave out God entirely, and I don’t want to see a world without God. Let’s face it: we can’t create like God does. We can’t change hearts like God does. We certainly can’t love in the same capacity as God does.

So here’s my proposal: let’s let God be God. Let the Divine be Divine. But let’s imitate him and do what we can to become holy, to help our neighbors, to reach out to the broken. We can be his hands and feet, but our job is to point back to God, not to ourselves.

Agree / disagree? Can you articulate why?

Thanks for reading. This was really on my heart. I just had to share it with you all.


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