“The glory of God is a human being fully alive.”  -Irenaeus, second-century theologian

Today, as I was reading a book for my Christian Ministry class, I came upon this quote. Now, I couldn’t tell you exactly what Irenaeus meant when he wrote this hundreds of years ago, but I’m going to offer my take on it.

We are God’s vessels. The Holy Spirit dwells within us. But what good is it to have the Spirit of God living inside of us if we keep it hidden within ourselves, if we confine it solely to our own soul and mind, if we withhold it from the masses?

We have the capacity to be visible evidence of God’s good creation. We have the power inside of us to show the world what a wonderful savior we serve. Why would we ever want to suppress that power and ability? Truthfully, if we have an intimate, loving, and open relationship with Jesus Christ there is no possible way to contain God’s goodness exclusively within ourselves. It is God’s nature to overflow in love, and when he fills us up, it is necessary, and therefore inevitable, that we too overflow.

It is when we overflow that we become truly alive. We radiate love, kindness, gentleness, truth, patience, joy, and most evidently, we radiate glory. This glory cannot be attributed to any human effort or goodness or being, for it is by God and for God alone that we are filled beyond our capacity to contain.

When we become fully alive in our Lord, we radiate his glory. Through our being, God generates our doing. And our doing is what makes us fully alive.

We are made to radiate his glory.

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