Many people often try to live Christianly by following a bunch of rules. They operate under the auspices that it doesn’t matter how you feel or who you are, you should just do what’s right and shut up about it. While it’s true that following the rules might produce slightly better behavior, it’s also true that rigid adherence without understanding creates brittle, angry Christians whose lives eventually shatter from exhaustion and unhappiness.

You can create so many rules, including (ironically) rules to keep yourself from breaking rules, that you will find yourself paralyzed for fear of crossing boundaries, either real or imagined. You will despair. Eventually, you will give up.

If obedience and authenticity don’t offer sufficient means to live Christianly, then there must be a third option. The alternative is to live with “eschatological authenticity.” The eschaton refers to the end of this Creation and the telos of New Creation, in which God’s glory saturates the earth.

Eschatological authenticity, then, means being true, not to the people we are now, but being true to the people we will one day become when Christ has completely been consummated in us. We live as the best possible version of ourselves.

The problem is we’re not there yet. So we must imagine what the best possible version of ourselves entails. We have to ask ourselves:

  • When I’m at my best, how do I overlook an offense?
  • When I’m at my best, how do I love other people?
  • When I’m at my best, how do I walk in step with the Spirit?
  • When I’m at my best, how do I use my resources, gifts, and abilities for the glory of God?