The dentist. Who likes to visit the dentist? It is one of those things I do because it is good for me and I only have one set of teeth. I better take care of them. While there is much I can do between visits to ensure gum, teeth, mouth health, some things require the dentist.
Visiting the dentist for a cleaning is an excellent example of active-passivity. It’s a weird term, I know, but one I want to highlight today. It gets better, I promise.
So much of what I do to maintain a healthy life is up to me. I choose what to eat, I choose how (or if) I will exercise, I choose my spiritual practices. All of these are active choices by me and then require my active participation. But there are some things in life — the spiritual life — that are done for us. We just need to show up. Let me illustrate.
Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
These verses are an example of active-passivity. Our role is showing up (accepting God’s free gift of salvation in Jesus) and God will do the work of making us holy and keeping us blameless because of Jesus. It’s like going to the dentist. We show up, sit in the chair and then the dentist (or hygienist) cleans the tartar off and checks for problems. We show up, the work is done.
Are you showing up? Have you accepted the free gift Jesus’ offers? God will make this (holy and blameless) happen because he is faithful.