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What are some features of this flourishing? As Christians see her, a spiritually whole person longs in certain ways. She longs for a God and the beauty of God, for Christ and Christlikeness, for the dynamite of the Holy Spirit and spiritual maturity. She longs for spiritual hygiene itself – and not just a a consolation prize when she cannot be rich and envied instead. She longs for other human beings: she wants to love them and to be love by them. She hungers for social justice. She longs for nature, for its beauties and grace, for the sheer particularity of the way of a squirrel with a nut. As we might expect, her longings dim from season to season. When they do, she longs again.

She is a person of¬†character¬†consistency, a person true whenever you tap her. She keeps promises. She weeps with those who weep and, perhaps more impressively, rejoices with those who rejoice. She does all these things in ways that express her own personality and culture but also a general “mind of Christ” that is cross-culturally unmistakable.

Her motives include faith – a quiet confidence in God and in the mercies of God that radiate from the self-giving work of Jesus Christ. She knows God is good; she is also feels assured that God is good to her. Her faith secures her against the ceaseless oscillations of pride and despair familiar to every human being who had taken refuge in the cave of her own being and tried there to bury all her insecurities under a mound of achievements. When her faith slips, she retains faith enough to believe that the Spirit of God, whose presence is her renewable resource, will one day secure her faith again (Plantinga 34-35).

Plantinga, Cornelius Jr. Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be.