I believe the concept of the Holy Trinity explains how we are to treat each other because it is how God treats us, without fail, every second of every day. With Love, Compassion, and Joy.
The Essence That Is One God
Father. Son. Holy Spirit. These three elements make up the Holy Trinity of Christian theology. Together, these three separate things explain the essence that is one God.
But what does it mean?
To be honest, I’ve never really been able to make complete sense of it. And since the Bible itself doesn’t necessarily have a fully-formulated doctrine on the concept, it goes without saying that perhaps every church, every denomination, and every follower of Christ has a different take on the subject. It’s entirely plausible that the Holy Trinity could mean anything to anyone.
I don’t think this a bad thing. In fact, this is part of what I feel is so beautiful about our relationship with God. To me, this notion that any one follower could take the Holy Trinity to mean anything with respect to their understanding of the Lord is a perfect example of how each person’s relationship with God is personal and unique. As it should be.
That said, what does the Holy Trinity mean to me?
Love. Compassion. Joy.
The way I take the Holy Trinity is, in many ways, as a commandment in and of itself. I see each of the three elements as a unique suggestion for human conduct which, when put together as a whole, explain how we are to behave toward one another. This makes sense to me because, as you may know, I feel that loving your neighbor as yourself is one of the most important things we are asked to do with our lives. If that is the case, then surely some instructions on how to do so would be rather helpful.
Well here, in the Holy Trinity, I believe we have them.
Firstly, God, The Father, is Love. I’ve always understood this to be the case anyway – Love is the foundation from which everything springs. The mere fact that we exist is an act of Love. Love, then, should be in everything we are, and everything we do.
Secondly, Jesus, The Son, is Compassion. I see Him this way because of how He was described in the Gospels, because of what He did and how He did it. When Jesus was being nailed to the cross, of the very soldiers doing the hammering, He said to God “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.” How is this anything but Compassion? If our Lord can ask forgiveness of the very people who are torturing him, how can we as mere mortals do anything less of the people who cause us harm in our own lives? If we can do that with the power of Compassion, how we treat those who do us no harm must be that much easier. Compassion, then, is how you Love.
Third, the Holy Spirit, is Joy. Joy is what one produces when one Loves by being Compassionate. Joy is what we are intended to produce. Life itself is supposed to be full of Joy.
This is what the Holy Trinity means to me.
The Actionable Nature Of The Holy Trinity
Every day – in every interaction with every person – I try to follow the instructions given me the Holy Trinity. If I don’t come to that person with Love, or if the words that come out of my mouth or the actions that I have toward that person are not Compassionate; if I don’t leave that person with a sense or feeling of Joy, then I’ve failed.
And fail, I do, more often than not.
Yet, I know this is, in the end, okay. Why? Because like the Love and Compassion I try constantly to have for others (and mind you, that’s no easy task), I know that God has that same Love and Compassion for me. I know that, ultimately, He wants to bring me Joy. All that stuff that’s so difficult for us to do – it’s easy for God. He doesn’t fail at Love. He doesn’t fail at Compassion. And only where we fail to understand it do we miss out on Joy. They’re all there. He has these things for us in abundance.
I believe the concept of the Holy Trinity explains how we are to treat each other because it is how God treats us, without fail, every second of every day. And though we may often fail, we must always try.
Perhaps, in the end, the simple act of trying, and knowing that we’re trying, is what will bring us true Joy.