What does it mean to be truly human?


Okay, so this is one of those philosophical questions that popped into my head. I’m curious what things you would say to someone who asked this question.

A knee jerk reaction by me:

  1. To love, to relate to others
  2. To work and play
  3. To accept limits
  4. To be real, not plastic
  5. To age without trying to pretend the clock isn’t ticking
  6. To live in ambiguity while acting
  7. To sleep and rest
  8. To emote
  9. To desire
  10. To worship

I’m sure I’m missing some key things here…what would you say?

11 Comments

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11 responses to “What does it mean to be truly human?

  1. …to grieve.
    …to accept our physical limitations.

  2. I love that question. The answers seem endless….
    to grow, to learn, to discover
    to be curious, to wonder, to question
    to create
    to conquer, to overcome, to win
    to serve
    to give
    to be thankful

  3. Jess

    Great question! It’s an almost endless list, for sure:

    To be both a creature and a creator
    To laugh and cry
    To be female or male
    To eat

  4. Dad

    To be a parent with eager anticipation of having the family home for Christmas!!

  5. Dad

    To sin
    To mislay important things and then can’t find them!
    To forgive and be forgiven
    To be loved and accepted even when I fail, and the list goes on . . .

  6. Scott Knapp

    Whatever makes the final cut for the list, it was first fully embodied by Adam and Eve, who God called “good” after He made them; and last embodied by Jesus, whom God called “My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.”

    It’s regrettable that folks have gotten into the habit of assuming that sin is a natural or normal part of being human (“to err is human”). In saying this, we’re often overlooking the fact that sin was never supposed to be an element of being truly human, that being truly human can’t be defined properly outside of the context of our purpose of bringing maximum glory to God in our humanness, and that one day being a “normal” human will include no evidence of sin whatsoever.

    While sin and it’s results may be a part of what it means to be “presently” human, it’s certainly not a part of being “truly” human. Like Larry Crabb often writes, we are presently “glorious ruins”, awaiting redemption back to “normal.”

  7. Matt C

    To come in
    To wait
    To listen
    To hear
    To receive
    To give
    To imagine
    To commune
    To be filled
    To go out
    To bless

  8. Carm

    I like “to grieve” because I think that we grieve a lot of small and large things…. also, “to experience death”. I would say “to experience God’s redemption” but the tragedy is that not all humans do that.

  9. As a student of philosophy of human person. id like to say this, true human has high level of intellectual and that is why they are very different from other living things exist. Exercising its intellectual powers makes the man truly human. By exercising, then one knows what he must do, knows what is right and what is wrong, knows he has freedom to express anything, and he knows his ultimate goal is to be happy.
    🙂

  10. Theresa -age 13

    To live while diing and to make mistakes while still living.
    Their are many ways to put it but I think tha this is the best way I could possibly put it. Life should be charished but still lived because we dont know when will die. Its okay to be recklace and make mistakes thats what makes us human in the first place. “Were only human” There are limits but test them, but dont go to far or you’ll only miss the best part of life.

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