I recently stumbled upon a word I was unfamiliar with. The word was “creatureliness.” Although I was unfamiliar with this word, I was not unfamiliar with its underlying concept. Perhaps it would benefit all of us to do a quick refresher. Would it surprise you, if I told you, that all people struggle with their creatureliness? We do! Discover how it might be impacting your faith life. Please read more.
What do the Great Sand Dunes of Colorado, the majestic mountains of Italy, the Lochs of Scotland, the wild animals of Columbia, South America, the salt fields of Gujerat, India, the planet Jupiter, the colorful fish among the coral reefs, and you and I have in common? If you said each of these are created by God, you are correct.
Everything, whether animate or inanimate, is part of creation. Within God’s creation are His creatures. Among those creatures are humans. Creatureliness is defined as: the quality or state of being creaturely. All creatures, including humans, share something in common. We are created, and we are not the Creator. As creatures we are in a servile dependency to the Creator.
What does “creatureliness” have to do with our life and salvation? To start with, we must come to grips with the reality that as creatures, we are created with the nature of both good and evil, always present within.
Our creatureliness dictates that we must live according to the design of the Creator. God designed us to be happy, to do His will, and to one day be with Him forever in Paradise. Without a doubt, God wants us to grow in our wisdom and knowledge of Him. He wants us to love one another. He wants us to be fruitful and multiply. But more than anything else, God wants us to believe in His Son Jesus, and He wants us to walk in His footsteps and follow His commands.
But our creatureliness demands something else. We must accept our limitations. We have both physical and spiritual limitations. Physically speaking we must make time to eat, sleep and maintain our health. Spiritually speaking we are limited by the evil Jesus speaks of in Mark 7:1-23 that comes from within us.
From the very beginning of human existence mankind has rebelled against our dependence on God. Even though we are the created, we have sought to be the creator. Humans have always tried to reject the idea of being limited.
In the story of Adam and Eve contained in Genesis 2:4 to 3:24, we see that God granted them great freedom, but directed them not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. The serpent told Eve, “God knows well that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, who know good and evil.” Of course, we all know the rest of the story. Both Adam and Eve ate from the tree. Essentially, they attempted to reject their creatureliness in order to become gods. This is the very essence of sin!
Seeking more control and power never gives us peace. Try as we may, we cannot escape the limitations of our creatureliness. Any attempt to free ourselves from our human limitations and any attempt to deny the evil that is within us, only serves to further enslave us.
As children of God, we don’t like to admit our evil and sinful side. To be clear, even long after we have accepted Jesus as our Savior, we still remain sinful people. Yes, it is true that we become new creatures in Christ, however we still have our limitations and flaws. The only way to avoid having our creaturely limitations would be to become god. Adam and Eve tried that. It didn’t work. God alone is God!
Yes, it is true that we are made in God’s image, but sin has greatly distorted that image. That image has been defiled by our evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly and so much more.
So, what must we do? We must learn to both accept and embrace the limitations of our creatureliness. We can bring glory to God by accepting our utter dependence on Him. He is the source of our life and being and Jesus alone is the source of our salvation and Eternal Life.
Death is a constant reminder that we are creatures, but through Jesus Christ, death has lost its sting. We can often get worn down by our propensity to sin. Just like St. Paul had his thorn, we are all weak and limited. In order to have peace, joy, and happiness, we must accept our weaknesses. Yes, we must work to improve, but in the end, we must place ourselves at the foot of the cross. We must place our trust in Jesus Christ who has paid the ultimate price for our shortcomings and have faith that one day we will be freed from this mortal existence. Thus, to fully understand God and His Holiness, we must first come to an understanding and acceptance of our creatureliness.
Heavenly Father, without you I can do nothing. My every breath depends on you. Help me to never place trust in my own abilities, but rather to always place my trust and dependence on the saving grace of your Son, Jesus the Christ. Amen!
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