The Point Of Being Human Is…

From Dr. David G. Benner’s book Surrender To Love: Discovering The Heart Of Christian Spirituality

Transformation into love is a shift from focus on me to an awareness of the greater we.

Egocentricity and its bondage of self is always the enemy of love.

Conversion points us toward fellow human beings, not simply toward God. Like the grain of wheat that must fall into the earth and die if it is to flourish, the person who is becoming love leaves behind the broken husk of the isolated self and embraces the new possibilities of life in the human community.

Self-interest suffocates life. Life implodes when self-interest is at the core. This is why the kingdom of self is based on death.

Ultimately, taking care of Number One takes care of no one.

For the only way to truly care for myself is to give myself in love for others. There I will find my truest and deepest fulfillment.

Love always involves not just saying yes to someone but also saying no to self. The life of love is a life of death to the kingdom of self.

 Love is the acid test of Christian spirituality. If Christian conversion is authentic, we are in a process of becoming more loving.

1 John 4.16 says that “Anyone who lives in love lives in God, and God lives in him.”

If love connects us to life, it offers us a life that we no longer control. No longer can I choose whom I will love and whom I will ignore. No longer can I close my eyes to the things that hold others in bondage. If God’s heart has truly become mine, their bondage is mine. If one person suffers, all suffer.

I may not always consciously experience the suffering of others. I may be reasonably successful in living the life of autonomous existence. But my identity is based on an illusion unless it is grounded in human solidarity and community.

Transformation through love is not, therefore, as individualistic as we tend to assume. When love draws me from isolation into community, your life touches mine—your pain touches me, your afflictions touch me, your anxieties touch me. In short, you become part of me.

Love that comes from the heart of God connects us to all of God’s children.

It also connects us to his creation—our world. God’s heart of love moves me from the isolation of self-interest to a connection with life that cannot allow any ultimate divisions or categories. Love cannot exclude concern for social justice. Nor can it exclude ecological concern for the planet. Love cannot exclude concern for any human being, because all humans bear the image of God, whose heart is increasingly becoming our heart.

The point of being human is to learn to love.

There is nothing more important than learning love, because this is learning that counts for eternity.


I am a husband, father, pastor, leader & reader. I love God, love people & love life.

2 Comments to The Point Of Being Human Is…

  1. Often you will hear (or read posts) from Christ followers – who may be going through a tough time – say, “I need some ‘me’ time.” If by ‘me’ time you mean you’re going spend some time in prayer and reading your Bible or hanging out with your closest loved ones, I’m all for it. But, if you mean you’re going to do only what you want to do, not serve and withdraw from people and the community then I’m not sure that’s the correct approach to getting out of whatever funk you’re in. I’m sure there’s a little of what brings me satisfaction in that opinion.
    Another thing you here from time to time is that one of the keys to a happy life is to rid yourself of any negative people. Just surround yourself with people who build you up, make you laugh, add value, etc. . This also, it seems to me, is the opposite of what we’re called to do.

    • Preach Norm!

      I have another one to add… I often hear sermonizing about how we “gotta soar with the eagles, not scratch around on the ground with a bunch of chickens” either saying directly or implying that our task is to rise above all the weak, pitiful, undisciplined losers out there who will keep us from greatness. Hang out with winners so we can be winners, blippitty bloop bop, blah, blah, blah. Just like Jesus, right?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>