Rich Paxson

In the Discussion Forum for this module, join the conversation around – “The approach in Paul’s letters is not ‘do X, and then you will become Y,’ but rather, ‘Because you are finding yourself X, so do Y.’ ”
Rules that say Do X to become Y, until I took this course, described my approach to personal morality. It took me a while to complete this particular post because I acknowledge here a release from dependence upon unstated external rules to manufacture goodness.

God’s creative love, the only real foundation of righteousness, is not about producing virtue or based on any particular morality code. St. Paul writes that goodness comes like this – Because I find myself X, so I do Y.

Because this course introduced me to a new way of knowing and experiencing God’s love, now I share that love with others. I first became conscious of this change during daily walks through the same neighborhoods where I’ve lived the past forty-two years. Jesus, the other Other, walks alongside me on these rambles. Then, as close as my breathing in and my breathing out, I remember Christ-Presence throughout the remainder of the day.

What I feel while walking calms and energizes at the same time. I feel loved walking and so find myself acting lovingly toward others at later times and in other places. I remain calm in the company of ‘social situation shoulds’ that before would only have irritated. Now as my fears evaporate, some quickly and some not so fast, I speak and act with a loving purpose that becomes apparent through no mental gymnastics but in the words and the actions themselves.