“Sin boldly,” wrote Martin Luther, the German priest and theologian that is the namesake of the Lutheran denomination.
How confusing this quote seems at first glance. How confusing it is that a priest, a man of God, would instruct Christians to sin and to do so with abandon. Yet, when this quote is brought back into the context from which it was taken, it makes a bit more sense. After announcing that Christians should sin, and that they should sin boldly, Luther then instructs them to have an even bolder faith in Christ, rejoicing that these sinners shall be saved.
Being the non-traditional spiritual being that I am, however, my interpretation of this quote is a bit different. Instead of only believing that I should sin boldly, that I should have blind faith, I believe that I should live my whole life boldly. That I should live the life that brings me peace, fulfillment, and happiness.
And I think that you, my daring birds, should live boldly too.
…Take just a moment and reflect on what that means to you. When you think of living a bold life, what do you think of? Do you think of living a life that is free of fear, doubt, and apprehension? A life that is full of adventure, that is action-packed? Do you think of living life only for yourself, without any regard for others? Perhaps you think of living life as an outsider, as a rebel, a rogue. A bold sinner, even, in the words of Martin Luther.
Or perhaps living boldly means none of these things to you. Perhaps, when you think of living a bold life, you do not think of danger, adrenaline, and rebellion. Perhaps instead, you think of doing what you love, making time for play and self-care, and prioritizing your loved ones. Perhaps you think of having sound values, beliefs, and conviction. Of standing up for yourself, for others, and for what you believe in. Maybe living boldly to you means living with integrity, capability, perseverance, and grit. Of speaking your mind, expressing your feelings, and saying exactly what you mean, and meaning exactly what you say. Perhaps it means fostering meaningful relationships, with yourself and with others. It could even involve refraining from judgment, pessimism, and encouraging compassion, forgiveness, and lovingkindness. A life that keeps your heart and your mind open to new ideas, growth, awareness, and insight. Of realizing your goals, and chasing your dreams. Perhaps a bold life is one that is liberated, courageous, and genuine. A life that allows you to be free to be exactly who you want to be.
I encourage you to consider what it means to you to live boldly. Reflect on who you are and how you express yourself to the world through word and deed. Think, for a moment, about how true you are to yourself. Ask yourself what it would take for someone to water you down. How easily you can be reined in. How boldly you live your life. Perhaps, a bold life means that you are in agreement with Martin Luther, and you fully intend to sin boldly and have bold trust in your faith. Or, perhaps it means that you intend to live boldly, trusting in yourself that the life you are living is the life that is for you.
No matter what this bold and brazen life looks like to you, however, I ask you to indulge yourself. Go ahead and life the life of your dreams, and do so with courage and valor of heart. Do not apologize or excuse the person you are or who you are not. Instead, revel in your uniquebeauty and enjoy exactly who you are at this moment, in this lifetime.
Live boldly in this lifetime, for any other option is not truly living. Spread your wings as you embrace yourself. Chase your dreams, be true to yourself, and feel yourself come alive.