It’s not difficult to realize—to become fully aware of the fact—that the Lord is causing something desired or anticipated to happen. Last week’s manifestations have spread to cranberry viburnum, fleabane, and phlox. Seeing trees and flowers realize their true selves got me thinking about the big “realize” ah-ha in my life, and a post I wrote a little over a year ago.
Here’s a “realize” revisit.
You can’t realize orthodoxy without orthopraxy.
In the March 2022 issue of Christianity Today, Tish Harrison Warren wrote, “… orthodoxy (right belief) and orthopraxy (right action) are so essentially entwined that if we neglect one, we lose the other.” Love God, love others. Orthodoxy with orthopraxy. Belief and action. To realize: become aware and cause something desired to happen.
The problem is that without realized orthodoxy, “right action” orthopraxy is often tainted with selfishness.
You can’t realize orthopraxy without orthodoxy.
For me, the orthodoxy “realize” happened when I looked in the mirror after my first marriage failed and discovered I counted on those who followed the Law to set the standard of good behavior. The Law tells us what to do and what not to do, allows us see our transgressions and repent, and helps us to walk in the light. But without God, there is no morality, just personal preference. My rules and little admission of shortcomings.
As an atheist, I did not love God at all. Though I tried to do good, I didn’t realize that I was often a fraud, loving others on my terms. If I wanted to realize righteous orthopraxy—right action in myself and model for others—I decided I’d better stop freeloading and realize orthodoxy first. And so, thirty years ago, I started down that lighted path. My actions might not have been less selfish, but I was certainly more aware of the difference between righteousness and self-righteousness, giving me the opportunity to course correct.
You can’t realize orthopraxy without orthopathy.
While reading Tish Harrison Warren’s article, I discovered a third quality to realize: orthopathy. According to Warren, orthopathy “… names the reality that we as Christians not only profess the truth of Jesus and practice the things he says to practice, but we also endeavor to do all this in the posture of Christ.” Realized orthopathy goes to the heart of walking in the light. But having a redeemed and transformed life “… comes through years of repentance and deep union and communion with God,” according to Warren.
Another “realize” ah-ha: It’s not Him realizing you—He’s always fully aware—but you realizing Him. When we realize our real selves in Him, orthopraxy blooms like the dogwood.
Linkup with Five Minute Friday: https://fiveminutefriday.com/2023/04/13/fmf-writing-prompt-link-up-realize/