I Recieve to Give Away

I want to revisit that Arthur McGill quote from yesterday:
Every action is a losing, a letting go, a passing away from oneself of some bit of one’s own reality into the existence of others and of the world. In Jesus Christ, this character of action is not resisted, by trying to use our action to assert ourselves, extend ourselves, to impose our will and being upon situations. In Jesus Christ, this self-expending character of action is joyfully affirmed. I receive myself constantly from God’s Parenting love. But so far as some aspects of myself are at my disposal, these I receive to give away. Those who would live as Jesus did—who would act and purpose themselves as Jesus did—mean to love, i.e., they mean to expend themselves for others unto death. Their being is meant to pass away from them to others, and they make that meaning the conscious direction of their existence.
This quote perfectly captures how McGill has been such a huge influence upon me. Specifically, if you've read The Slavery of Death you'll recall how I lean upon McGill to describe how an eccentric identity helps us overcome our slavery to the fear of death (Hebrews 2.14-15).

The label "eccentric identity" is borrowed from David Kelsey. McGill describes it as Jesus's "ecstatic identity." I find Kelsey's label more compelling than McGill's, but McGill's description of this identity more compelling than Kelsey's.

The central notion behind the eccentric/ecstatic identity is summarized in the quote above.

When our identities find their grounding eccentrically (beyond ourselves) in God, when our identities and life are held as gifts, we acquire the psychological capacity to relinquish our lives in acts of love.

As McGill says it, when "I receive myself constantly from God's Parenting love" I can "receive to give away." Grace creates the capacity to love: I can "expend [myself] for others unto death." And this giving, this love, this pouring out, becomes the "conscious direction of [my] existence."

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