Layers of Man- Summary

For the last week we have been exploring the different layers that make a person up, which ones we mistakenly identify with, and the one true identity that we should define ourselves by. We made this journey by moving from the outside in, first examining the external falsehoods, moving to the interior ones, and finally settling on the truth. This inward journey tends to be the pattern that the reawakened soul follows, digging through the layers to get back to who they once were. But, of course, all of these layers come upon the soul in reverse order. So, let’s take a minute to start at the core and work our way back out, just to make sure the picture is complete.

The Divine)

First and foremost, we have the divine. Our true identity, present in us from before our birth. We do not have to work for it, we do not have to earn it, it is just inherent in our innocent, infant state. Artists have long recognized the natural divinity of children, rendering them as angels and cherubs, holy souls under the direct purview of God, Himself.

The divine core is present in us from the beginning, though it should be noted that it can grow and expand throughout our lives. When we are living from this authentic core, we are able to develop and attach other virtues to our character. If we attempt to attach these virtues at any other level of being, they will never stick. Thus, the great prerequisite to real change in our lives is for that change to be able to communicate with this most intimate layer. If you really want to make lasting changes in your life, then you need to stay in this place.

The Wound)

Tragically, though, at some point the divine self is assaulted and taken from us. Though we are naturally bright, someone tells us that we are stupid. Though we are effortlessly kind, someone tells us that we are hurtful. Though we are inherently innocent, someone tells us that we are guilty. We accept these messages as true, because we are young and vulnerable, and they come from someone that we love and trust.

Part of the reason why childhood wounds hurt us the most is because they cut at the truest part of us. If we accept that at our core we are foolish and selfish and worthless, then there is nowhere else to go for reassurance. We see ourselves as fundamentally broken, and by definition, fundamentally broken means unfixable.

The Shame)

The pain brought on by this wounding cannot be overstated. It is entirely appropriate to say that these are the greatest assaults our souls will ever face in life. Being struck to our core, our survival instincts will almost certainly kick in. These instincts are simple and powerful, designed to find the quickest, most efficient way to remove oneself from the pain.

And all too often, the quickest, most efficient anesthesia is some sort of carnal pleasure. Whether the pleasure of sexual gratification, or of consumption, or of entertainment, or of mind-altering chemicals, or of getting new things, or of establishing control over another. All of these alleviate pain in the moment, but they do so at the terrible cost of tearing our conscience and hurting the hearts of others. We will hate ourselves for doing these things, but that hatred will only inspire the survival instincts to do them yet again to numb that pain also! A vicious cycle of self-hurt and hurt to others thus begins.

The Façade)

The pain of a broken heart and of a guilty conscience, the two most terrible burdens to live with. The instinct-based survival mechanism has tried to save us in its own way and utterly failed, so now our higher reasoning takes a crack at it, but its attempt is hardly any better.

We mistakenly conclude that we must create a new layer outside of the others, one that covers the shame so that no one else can see it and one that overcompensates for the part of our divine soul that was assaulted by the wound. So, if we were told that we were selfish, and if our shameful addictions have reinforced that belief, then we will likely create a façade of exaggerated niceness, straining to put on a show of compassion and consideration, not motivated by genuine love for other people, but by fear of having our ugly side seen.

Because the façade totally ignores the underlying issue, it is trying to erect a beautiful building on top of a fractured foundation, and it is doomed to fail miserably. Sometimes this failure is a sudden and public collapse, sometimes it is hidden from the world as we slowly erode from the inside out. In either case, its scope is all-reaching, shattering every branch and relationship in our lives.


And thank God that it does. Thank God that our efforts to put a band-aid over a gaping laceration don’t work. Thank God that we will never find a workable solution without Him. And I literally mean “thank God,” because He is often the one who topples our house of cards to the floor.

Sometimes, when we are in the midst of trying so hard to cover our mistakes and wounds, we feel like divine intervention is tripping us up. Often that makes us incredibly mad! “God, I’m trying to make myself good enough, I’m trying to make this house beautiful enough, so why do you keep sending earthquakes to knock it down?!”

God breaks apart everything that we build so that we can finally give up. Routed and cut off from support, our marshalling ruined and our hopes in retreat, finally we throw our hands up and say “I surrender! Go ahead. Punish me! Break me! I deserve it!”

And then we see what a liberating captor God is.

One layer after another, God then breaks through the façade, the shame, and the wound. He blasts all of it away and reveals to us our shining, divine spark, long forgotten but never faded.

“I don’t care about the wrongs,” He tells us. “I don’t care about the lies. I don’t care about the shame. And I’m not here to condemn you, break you, or punish you. I’m only here for this!”

He takes that divine spark and puts it back into our hands. He gives ourselves back to ourselves.

“Now let’s try this again,” He says.

And now, with our true self restored back to us, we miraculously find ourselves effortlessly able to be the person that we could never make ourselves be by force. Where once we felt cursed in all that we did, now we are blessed. Certain defeat is replaced with already-won victory. Real change and real happiness come over us, and we are amazed to find that all this was ready and waiting for us at any moment.

Unveiling our shame and our wounds may seem a terrible ordeal. Our anxiety might seem sure that to do so will kill us! But this is the only way to get them out of the way and then unveil the divine, and once we have done this, then all the hard journey will have been worth it. At last, we are our ourself again, and we need never go back to playing pretend.

Layers of Man- The Divine

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. - 1 Corinthians 13:12

This above all: to thine own self be true - Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 3

It might seem impossible that a person could not know their own self, one would think that knowledge would be self-evident to them, but nothing could be further from the truth. I do not know a single person who has not totally lost their genuine self at some point or another. We all stray from our authentic core, and finding our way back isn’t as simple as we might think. Indeed, there are many who never find their way back at all! This a tragedy, because we will never grow into our full potential until we are living from that genuinely authentic place.

Over the past several posts we’ve highlighted the common false identities we find ourselves in: the wounded victim, the shameful addict, and the phony pretender. At different times we might consider any of these roles to be our real self, but none of them can be. Each of these layers only came into existence partway through our lives. They are therefore artificial and external, addendums on top of something else.

And what is that something else? What was the true self that everything else was layered on top of us? What identity we have always had inside of ourselves, right from the beginning of life?

Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? - John 10:34

Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee - Jeremiah 1:5

The words of scripture provide bold declarations that each and every one of us is a special creation of God, a divine child of the most powerful being in the universe, and an heir to heaven through Christ. The words of scripture tell us that none of us are a bit player or window dressing in the story of the world, but a central character unlike any other. Each of us comes with unique talents and callings, meaning we have both a God-given ability and a God-given purpose.

In short, each one of us is sacred, each one of us is divine, and each one of us is an imprint of God. Many of us have been told this at one point or another, but relatively few of us have been able to actually believe it. Or we might say that we believe it, but when asked to describe who our divine self is we are unable to provide any specific or unique details.

Forgetting who the divine self is the first step to all the trouble that we experience in life. Coming to remember who we are is the first step to restoring all that was lost.

For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For the body is not one member, but many. If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. - 1 Corinthians 12:12, 14, 17, 18

Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. - Matthew 18:3

I can tell you that your true identity is defined by wonderful and divine traits…but I cannot tell you exactly what those traits are. We are not all the same image of divinity, but each a part of the whole. It is not for another mortal to define what your identity is. It is a personal and individual pilgrimage that all of us must take for ourselves, to know who we truly are.

I can, at least, give you a starting point to begin your journey from. Remember that all of our false identities were layers heaped upon our original state. Remember that our divine self is not one that we had to earn or fashion, it was present in us from the very beginning. And so, the best place to start looking for the divine self is in our young childhood. What were you like before your innocence had been broken, when happiness came so naturally, and you didn’t ever wonder if you were enough? How did you play and perform before you cared who was watching you? What were the things you could do that brought you joy effortlessly, that made you feel strong and adept? Some may be able to recall these years better than others. Some may need to enlist the help of parents and loved ones who might remember more clearly.

Of course, remembering these things is one thing, but then there is the matter of actually going back to that place. Some may feel that their childlike self has been irreversibly broken, that the path back home is blocked by an impassable chasm.

Whether you have forgotten your child self, or do not know how to find your back to it, do not worry. It can all be brought back to you right where you are at this moment. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17). As you cultivate your relationship with Christ and search with earnest, old things will be made new. The self that was forgotten or lost will be brought back effortlessly; a gift restored.


I’ve shared my façade, my shame, and my wounds, it only seems fair that now I get to share the most divine parts of my soul as well. This isn’t boasting, either, because these are the qualities I did absolutely nothing to obtain. They were given to me as a gift from God. “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:31).

From my youngest years I have been naturally cheerful and gregarious. I am most typically happy, and I want to see everyone around me be happy as well. I tend to sense how engaged everyone is with an activity, and when someone is frustrated or losing interest, I know what to change to include them.

I am curious and creative, endlessly fascinated by this world and stimulated by it into imagining new things. I love to write and create stories, to convert life lessons into parables and allegories. And even when it does not lead to creativity, I still find great pleasure just in learning and understanding new things.

Finally, I am also conscientious, having an unbreakable sense of what is right. When it comes to deciding what I should do, I need no more justification or rationalization than simply to feel what is right in my heart and obey it. Along with this, I have recently discovered that I always comes back to my conscience. Sometimes, admittedly, I do become complacent and aloof, trying to glide through life without holding myself to a greater purpose. But these spells are always short-lived. I am constantly pulled back towards conscience, even without any external pressure to do so.

And now, at long last, we have reached the true core of who we are. The part of us that has always been ingrained in us since before our birth. The part that is inseparable from who we are, even when it is temporarily forgotten. The part that it is actually correct for us to identify ourselves by.

We are so often taught that we have to make ourselves be enough, that we have to spend our whole lives striving to becoming who we are supposed to be. What a welcome shock to realize that in reality we don’t need to strive at all. The divine was in us all along, before we had done a single thing to build or earn it. So now, instead of grasping at convoluted philosophies, we can let go of everything but the truth. Instead of looking high and low for God, we can discover Him within us. Instead of working so hard to become His we can realize that we always were.

Now, at last, we are home.

Layers of Man- Overview

But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. - 1 Kings 16:7

In his excellent series Restoring the Shack, author William Paul Young discusses the different layers that there are to a person. He points out that what most of us present to the world is nothing more than a façade, a carefully-constructed window dressing that reveals how we want to be seen, but which is far removed from who we actually are inside. He explains that behind the façade there is an inner layer which may appear more like a broken-down shack. And while we may feel that it would kill us to reveal that part to another person, we will never have any true connection until we do.

John Eldredge also speaks of this idea of layers in his book Wild at Heart. He illustrated how we create a “poser,” a carefully crafted image, whose primary function to is protect an inner wound. The poser prevents anyone from getting to a place that is vulnerable and tender, but as William Paul Young suggests, this again means never having any true connection.

Both Young and Eldredge identify a fake, outer layer, and also a sensitive inner one. Personally I feel that they identify two different inner layers, though. There is the shame, that William Paul Young discusses at great length, and there is the wound, which Eldredge focuses on. But these inner layers cannot represent the entire self either. There must still be a deeper layer, the one that feels hurt by the wound, the one that feels ashamed of the misbehavior.

As I have examined my own life I have found this notion of layers to be absolutely true, and I have recognized the hierarchy that they organize themselves into. Within my life, and I suspect many others, there is

  1. Façade
  2. Shame
  3. Wound
  4. Divine

This sequence of these layers is not random, either. I have presented them in order of intimacy and truth. The deeper you go into the layers, the more secret and sacred of a space you come into.

Over the next few days I will explore each of these layers in turn, and what each specifically represents for me. I will consider how these layers are formed, how they help or hurt us, and how we return to our core self after we recognize the falsehoods of the others. If these notions are new to you they may bring up some difficult realizations. I can understand anyone that doesn’t want to see these intimate parts uncovered, I certainly did not want to go to these places for the first few decades of my life. And for good reason.

But I can also attest that one will never be fully alive until this work is gone through. This is the most important work any of us can do for ourselves, the work of discovering our true, divine heart. Make no mistake, there are dragons ahead, but dragons must be faced!

The Epic Life- John 18:37, Exodus 3:10, 14

Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.

Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.
And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.


To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world
Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
These verses are incredibly stirring. This notion of being called of God, of having an express purpose, a unique role to fulfill, a mission to undertake…these are the things that the heart yearns for! And while Moses took a little convincing to accept his calling, both he and the Savior became incredibly bold in declaring that they were doing what they had been called to do, and no man was going to prevent them in that. Indeed, that is the whole point of what Jesus is saying to Pilate in this first verse: the fact that he is facing the death penalty does not mean he has failed in his mission, rather it is the fulfillment of it. This trial, this crucifixion, this sacrifice…this has all been what he was born to do. “no power here. He’s not the one in charge. He is a pawn, pulled by strings that are pulled by God, all to make this very moment happen (see John 19:10-11).
Once again, isn’t there something exciting in Jesus’ testimony of his own destiny? And the fact that these stories excites something deep within us is significant. That we feel so affected really means something. For if we were not meant to reach for our own great purpose in life, then our soul would not stir at these words. Our hearts testify of what is true by how they respond to it. They race when they come into proximity with ideas that are good and right. These stories of receiving a divine calling are preserved so that they may excite us, and when they excite us we know that we should seek such experiences for ourselves.

Give Thanks- Divinity

I am grateful for divinity.

Many of the things I have already expressed gratitude for in this series can be considered a moment of God showing His hand in my life. A moving piece of music or a sincere and thoughtful tale. A pattern of mathematics. A mentor’s help and a child’s kindness. The variety of the world. The opportunities of time. The desires within us to make new and good things. The healing of the heart. I sense His divinity in all these aspects of life.

I believe that if each of us paused to consider the things we are most grateful for, we would recognize that they are the moments when we glimpse another side of our Maker. Our fondest memories are based around Him in one way or another.

It is true that we live in a fallen world, and it obscures our view of God, but He condescends to our presence in every way that He still can. When He does, these become the defining moments of our lives. They awaken in us the desire to be better. They make us to be our best selves.


The Need for Law- The Three Laws

I’ve spent these last few posts discussing a different laws, their origins and their destinations, and it has been a pretty organic, free-flowing conversation. And while everything I wrote made sense in my own head, I imagine it might have been a bit confusing to follow. Having muddled out all the details for myself, I think it would now be worthwhile to spell things out more clearly.

These are the three different laws that govern our lives as I understand them. The scriptural references to support them are included throughout my previous posts. It is, of course, entirely possible that I am misaligned in some way though. Spiritual study, after all, is a process of constant refinement.

Mortal Law

What I mean by mortal law is the balance of nature that rules our world. These are the purely physical forces that define gravity, magnetism, chemical and nuclear reaction, and all the other natural interactions that make our universe the way that it is. These laws are observable with our physical senses, and can be measured and studied. They are consistent and reliable, as every universal law is.

These laws provide wonderful benefits to us. They allow the matter of our planet to have coalesced into a singular body, they keep it moving in a steady orbit, they retain a breathable atmosphere around us, and they also maintain every other requirement to make our lives possible.

These laws are fair in that they apply equally and universally to all. However they give no assurances for social, moral, or karmic justice. That is entirely outside of their domain. And so the lazy might prosper and the industrious come to ruin. The guilty might be exonerated and the innocent condemned. The unhealthy might survive and the healthy die young.

But whether rich or poor, healthy or unhealthy, good or evil, wise or foolish…the mortal law brings all to the same conclusion. Death, entropy, eternal silence. Under this law we all share the common destiny of ceasing all existence forever.

Divine Law

Divine law is where the influence of God enters the mortal realm. As such, it directly addresses the limitations of the mortal law. While the wicked may still prosper under the worldly domain, divine law now requires that they will be stung in their conscience. While the pure-hearted may still die young, divine law assures that they can pass in peace.

To put it simply, where mortal law governs our bodies, divine law’s domain is that of the spirit and soul. And just as how mortal law applies the same rules to each body equally, divine law weighs on each spirit equally, too. No good deed goes without a sense of fulfillment, no evil deed goes without a stinging of the conscience.

And where mortal law consigns us all to the grave, divine law picks us up from that one destiny and turns it into two. It ushers the immortal spirit either into a paradise or into a hell, depending on whether its precepts and commandments were obeyed or not. The problem here is that we, given our fallen nature, have each disobeyed the commandments of divine law, and thus are destined for hell.

Christ’s Law

And here we see the need for one more law. From mortal law our bodies are destined to die, and from divine law are spirits are destined to hell. The final act of everyone’s story is an inescapable tragedy.

Christ’s purpose is to answer the demands of both laws and to offer us a third in their place. He accomplishes this in three steps.

First, he adopts us as his children. To everyone that is willing, he takes us under his wing, and makes himself culpable for our errors, and us worthy of his virtues. Any punishment we receive he may take for us, and any reward he receives he may give to us.

Second, he pays for our crimes. He died to the mortal law and he was condemned by divine law. In Gethsemane he suffered the pain of a soul damned to hell. On Calvary he suffered the death of his body.

Third, he rises above his own death and condemnation, so that he can continue as our adoptive father, able to govern us and give grace as he sees fit.

Unlike the first two laws, this third one from Christ is entirely optional. We may refuse it if we wish. That is fine, we will simply remain under the purview of divine law, still consigned to hell. On the other hand, we may accept his law, and as a result our destination can be changed to life and paradise. He resurrects our bodies back from the grave, and he rescues our spirits from the clutches of hell*.

Of course accepting his law now means living that law’s precepts and commandments. Unlike divine law, those commandments are not total perfection, but they do expect particular behavior from us. The good news is that they are behaviors which we actually can satisfy. We will begin examining exactly what they are with the next post.

*Because the mortal law was not chosen by us, but by our first parents Adam and Eve, Christ provides an escape from it for everyone. Even those that reject Christ’s law will have the benefit of resurrection. This is only fair.
Our individual failure to fulfill divine law, however, is on our own heads, and so reclamation from hell is dependent on whether we accept Christ’s law or not.

The Need for Law- Romans 8:2-4

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.


The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
Yesterday we considered how God gave us His Law, which took us from the destiny of the grave, and split that into two paths, one towards salvation and one towards damnation. The problem, though, was that each of us breaks God’s Law, which consigns us to the path of damnation, an even worse situation that what we were in before.
But God’s plan did not end here. In addition to putting His Law upon us He provided a Savior as well. In a previous study we examined how Christ is able to pay for the demands and punishments of every law. Yes, each of us breaks God’s Law, but now it is Christ who is consigned to our damnation, having taken that burden upon himself as part of his atoning sacrifice.
Thus, as Paul suggests, we are free at last from both the law of death (required by mortal law) and the law of sin (required by divine law).

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us.
It is important for us to acknowledge and appreciate the doom of mortality’s law and the strictness of divine law, but now we do not have to regard them or their condemnations as our own. Now, if we will allow it, we can subscribe to the law which Paul called “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ.” And if we satisfy the demands of this third law (and this one, thankfully, we can satisfy the terms of!), then we avoid the two terrible destinations of death and hell, and may instead access the third destination, the one that we desire.
It took the quite process to get here, but at last we have the option to obtain resurrection, forgiveness, and salvation with God.

The Need for Law- Question

At the end of my last study it came up how the Atonement of Jesus Christ was performed to fulfill the laws of our fallen world, while also enabling a new law, one of grace and salvation. The scriptures say a very great deal about law, and speak to a sense of system and procedure in divinity.

But at the same time, structured religion is becoming less and less popular today. People seek ways to be “spiritual not religious,” and refute the idea of a God who has terms and conditions. I do understand the reason for this, it is a very difficult thing (perhaps impossible) to not project all the limitations and flaws of our mortal laws and governments on the divine. Because we see how our attempts at structure are so flawed, we struggle to imagine what a perfect structure could be like.

But that does not mean that the perfect structure does not exist. Rather than trying to excuse ourselves from God’s law (because we cannot conceive of it properly) we should broaden our perspectives to better glimpse it. And the more we do glimpse it properly, the less hesitation we will have in being subject to it.

With this study I would like to consider what different laws are described in the scriptures and what their purposes are. I would like to consider why we need law, and why God uses this form for leading His children. Finally I would like to examine how the implementation of divine law does not preclude a divine Father being able to have a personal (and personalized) connection with each child.

I would be curious to hear how you have been able to resolve the rigidity of divine law with the warmth of paternal love. What differences are most significant to you between the Old Testament law and that of the New Testament? What reasons do you believe are behind those differences? What do you think perfect law looks like when perfectly understood?

Who Am I?- Question

Our relationship with divinity seems to be a tricky one. We tend to think of God and Jesus as persons, distinct beings, clearly defined entities.

But then there is the matter of the trinity, which suggests that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit are one being that manifests in three forms. Other religions take the identity blending still further, where we are all nothing more than manifestations of one single cosmic consciousness, to which we wish to return in a total homogeneous unity.

Even language in the Christian scriptures speaks of God and Jesus as being a part of us, and of us being remade in their image. Does this mean that we are nothing more than manifestations of their own selves? Does it mean that we melt into them at some point of our discipleship and lose our individuality?

I do have my opinions on the nature of God, but that isn’t the question that I want to focus on with this study. I’d rather focus now on the other question: what is the nature of me? I want to consider the purpose of diversity and individuality, and whether they can survive after we have become unified with the divine. What is the correct relationship to pursue with God and/or Jesus? Am I a son? A brother? A creation? An unperfected manifestation of their same self?

I’d be curious to hear if you have ever struggled with questions of your own divine identity before. How did you find your own place in the greater scheme of things? Did your journey involve you seeing God as a part of you, or as separate from you? Who would you say your perfected self is?

Service to Others- Matthew 5:38-41

Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.
And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.


An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth
Our carnal tendency is to give as we have received. Not to give as we would like to receive, such as the golden rule recommends, but only to give as we have already received. As such, we have no mortal motivation to show a kindness to another unless they have already shown a kindness to us first. The problem with this approach is that then no kind act can ever be performed, as it requires an initiating factor. The whole pattern must be begun by one who does a kindness without reason, having received no kindness of their own. To the carnal mind, this is inconceivable.
What is conceivable, though, is an initiating unkindness, a moment where someone takes advantage of another for their own benefit. This would then start a toxic chain of retaliation unkindness through all humanity, and there could never be an end to the series because it requires a terminating factor. The whole pattern could only be closed by one who receives an unkindness and then, without reason, chooses not to retaliate. To the carnal mind, this is inconceivable.

Whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also
So would acting charitably mean giving unfairly and forgiving where it isn’t deserved? Quite frankly, yes. And that is the ultimate ambition. It is just that sort of charity that brought our Savior to lay down his life for us, even though we did not deserve any such kindness. And so charity is a principle in direct contrast to that of an eye for an eye. It is an uncomfortable principle, one that goes against our natural sense of indignation. But it is the only way to ever end a dance of abuse and counterattack, and the only way to ever start a dance of benevolence and generosity.