WHEN FACED WITH a choice to go the world’s way or God’s way, many cannot go ‘God’s way’ of legalism, moralism, and self-righteousness – as humankind within the church has bent it (neglecting Jesus’ teaching in the process). There is a third way that is the true ‘God’s way’ – the only ‘God’s way’. It is a difficult thing to explain, yet much easier to live.
The third way is the only true way. It supersedes religion because it cuts to the heart of the issues of humanity deeply entwined on our relational psyches. We have to have a model for relating with people that transcends violence – and the typical religious way is too violent, for it forces a decision-of-ethics to be made without due discernment. Besides, the religious person is typically not that well-adjusted to their own psychic processes (indeed, none of us are!).
The third way is about recognising human frailty and accepting it – in both us and others. It’s a love-never-fails approach. It’s a compensatory approach where grace just shades truth. This means, whilst truth drives us, grace is the more fundamental driver, just. The third way is about a dance between truth and grace; it’s highly relational.
Wars will never be fought over the third way, for those holding to it will never fight back. They believe the best fight is fought without fighting. Have you ever tried fighting with someone who won’t fight back? It’s difficult to maintain the conflict.
Tests of the Veracity of this ‘Third Way’
This third way is the wisest approach to life because it’s ordered by higher mind thinking; that is, adult, prefrontal cortex thinking.
Tests proving this way as the way of all ways are varied, but the truth of the matter is, as Jesus won (once for all time), when we employ the third way, we win too – and so does the other party – though it might appear initially that we’ve lost.
When we wholeheartedly look into this third way, mainly because we’ve met someone who just simply inspires us through their use of it, we begin to test its ground and the learning curve begins in earnest.
Sick of the world’s way and too scared or disgusted to go with religion, people are searching for a third way toward meaning for life. That way is the grace way – the way of the real Jesus of the gospels. Meeting Jesus for the first time is about the engagement of our hearts toward compassion, justice, and truth, because of love.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.