Quick Read: Salvation is Becoming Yourself

As the title plainly and painfully asserts, this is salvation: growing into yourself.

Perhaps your acquaintance with the word is lodged in some sort of Christian Evangelical rhetoric. If so, then salvation might mean that your “soul is saved”, so now your guaranteed entry into heaven. Sometimes we’ll preempt the concept with conditional words like “achieve” as in “You’ll achieve salvation IF…” Again, you may have been subject to an otherwise anemic idea of salvation.

Let’s look to the root of the word. Salvus, the original Latin, means whole, safe, healthy and uninjured. A branch word Salve, a verb, is likely used more in the medicinal context; it means to ease or sooth.

If salvation is a state of being, then I suggest that it is without condition. It is not the Nirvana achieved after you’ve purged yourself of desire through various life cycles. It is not utilitarian in that you spend most of your life looking for the right screwdriver for the right screw. It is not something we achieve after doing such and such. It is a process of understanding yourself through ‘fear and trembling’. To echo Thomas Merton’s lasting insight on the idea, “I can’t tell you who you are, and you can’t tell me who I am.”    

Biology and virtue nudge us towards being ‘whole, safe, healthy and uninjured with ease and soothing’. We wish this on others and should therefore wish it upon ourselves. Salvation is an ‘end-of-the-day’ idea where it comes down to how YOU decide how to respond to fear and trembling; however, this shouldn’t be done alone. Understanding who you are is largely revealed in the context of fellowship. Allow others to honestly speak into your life. Be an honest voice to those as well.

Share in salvation. Revel in it. Learn, as I am, to thrive in it. It produces in you a growth unlike anything else found in this life. In it you get resilience, love and understanding.

Happy Monday.

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