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a matter of pronouns

Photo © Scott Mitchell

God is very particular about his Grammar, especially where it concerns us. Consider the back-and-forth gospel Pronouns of this glorious scripture,

He has made him to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Corinthians 5:20)

Us and him. He and we. Kingdoms in conflict; a separation of powers.   

The following poem undoes the riddle as Bennett’s words tug on gospel strings, each verse building upon the next. Watch as the pronouns switch places until at last the Guiltless One wins the day and owns the damning burden of all humanity:


Under the Law with its tenfold lash,

Learning – alas, how true! –

That the more I tried

The sooner I died,

While the Law, cried:

“You, you, you!”


Hopelessly still did the battle rage:

 “O wretched man!“ my cry,

And deliverance I sought

By some penance bought,

While my soul cried:

“I, I, I!”


Then came a day when my struggles ceased,

And trembling in every limb

At the foot of the tree

Where one died for me

I sobbed out:

“Him, Him, Him!

R.P.D. Bennett

I came into this world mastering the singular personal pronoun, “I.” I’ve used it effortlessly and endlessly; it flows like honey over my lips and tastes as sweet. As you have probably seen, I still use it an awful lot – see? I still do. Wow, it’s hard to get away from that pronoun.

It’s mighty difficult not to make it about me. And you have the same conflict. Not judging. Just is.

When Jesus said, “it is finished” the transaction spoken about in the scripture at the top was completed. That matter is settled.

There is still an “I” that dangles like a hanging chad on a punch card, however, and I know I will not be made ready for glory until that matter is dealt with. I yearn for the day my “I” collapses fully under the weight of the possessive pronoun of HIS good reign.

I put my unadulterated amen to Elyse’s tweet yesterday:

I really hope this is the year that happens. I’m so tired of me some days I wonder how He can do it. Thank God he’s really good at what he does.

I’m asking the Father to baptize me in unassailable love, making me inoffensible and pure in heart. It’s a tall order, but:

it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Philippians 2:13

Now, that’s just good grammar.


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a matter of pronouns


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