Saturday, August 9, 2008


I'm a thinker. I like to think of myself as a thinker, that is. In any case, I ponder things and muse over possibilities and synthesize my observations into cogent philosophies.

The most recent synthesis gelled in my mind on Thursday night.

On a moral scale, I am worthless. Any good I do is far outweighed by the evil I do, and, outside of God, all good I do is sin because it is not done in faith. Actions are not the sinful part of what we do, as Jesus' talk about attitudes tells us; instead our purposes and intentions cause us to be guilty or innocent before God. Sin is defined as anything not done in faith (Romans 14:23), which means anything not done while, and borne out of, fully trusting God. In everything. Without questioning. Because he created me and I offended him by not trusting him in the first place. Because he is perfect and sovereign and beautiful and glorious and exceptional and worthy. Unlike me.

On a moral scale, I am worthless.

On a human scale, I can be worth something. An appealing idea. Worthless by God's standards, I can be worthy by others' standards.
This at the low, low price of your trust in God.
Act now for this limited time offer.
But wait; there's more!
Call in the next ten minutes and receive, free of charge, superiority and inferiority complexes (in that order), followed by a crippling identity crisis, resulting in lost time, lost intimacy, and an increase in cynicism.

By making myself worthy in the eyes of others, I take the attention off of the glorious, perfect, transcendent being - God - and redirect it to me, the broken, tattered, boring and tasteless and crass and dirty creation, fallen from grace and unable to redeem myself in God's eyes. By making myself worthy in the eyes of others, I sacrifice my ability to point to my savior as the worthy one.

By making myself worthy in the eyes of others, I lose my status as a place-marker for God's glory.

By allowing my arrogance - my pride - to live, I am actively trying to prove my worth to those around me. I must break for a moment to explain what I mean by pride. This is not satisfaction in my work. This is not taking credit for my work or rejecting false modesty.
My pride is my lack of humility.
My pride is my malignant sense of self-righteousness.
My pride is my bloated ego.
My pride is my arrogance.
My pride is my acceptance of undeserved credit.
My pride is my insistence on focusing on myself instead of on God.
Or instead of on others.
Or instead of on pointing to God for others to see.

My pride should come from God, in the same way, as C.S. Lewis says, that a pupil's pride comes from his tutor and a child's from his father. God sees value in me, since I am his creation, but that value is not inherent. That worth does not emanate from within me. That worth only exists as it is attributed by God.

All of this has come together in a resolution, with God's help, to become a more sensitive person. To drop my arrogant facade and approach life like a child of God, not like a man of the world.

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