Monday, December 05, 2005

Selfishness

Selfishness is something we are born with. Some people never even attempt to grow out of it, while other learn to mask it behind pious actions. White washed tombs are at least pretty on the outside. The trouble with this is that God sees the heart; He doesn't look on outward appearances as men do. It is those times I don't get something I really want where I learn exactly how selfish I am. Oh I've moved on from loudly demanding the candy bar while standing in line at the grocery store, but that fundamental self desire is still there. It has just progressed to larger things.

Someone gave my new car a door ding the other day. As selfish and inconsiderate as that was, my reaction was really no better. I didn't yell and scream--no, I've white washed that part of my life. But inside I had a monstrous desire for revenge. I craved to dent his car 10 fold for that small scratch. Nothing would have delighted me more than to take a hammer to that person's car. You see, there still lurks in me that old man. He delights in revenge because he is the most important person. Does it really matter if I leave a trail of broken people as I go through life? In my more cynical moments, I might actually believe it. If ever there was hope that this corrupt nature could be put away by natural means, it ought to be gone by now. The fact that a single scratch can bring back those feelings just testifies to how strongly that nature still clings to me.

Anyone who says that living in accordance with God's law is easy has simply failed to understand what His law really says. The Heidelberg Catechism explains the sixth commandment like this:
Does this Commandment speak only of killing?
No, but in forbidding murder, God teaches us that He abhors its very root, namely: envy, hatred, anger, and desire of revenge; and that in his sight all these are hidden murder.
You see the law of God goes to core; it discerns the thoughts and intentions of the heart. It acts somewhat like a magnifying glass and a mirror. In it, there is a standard where it is much harder to deceive yourself about how good you really are. It is good that we gaze in this mirror every once in a while. It is good to see how far short we come lest we truly start to believe that me, myself, and I are the most important people in the world. Fortunately, God is still about His work of conforming His people to the image of Jesus Christ, but it is a long and sometimes painful process.

Eph 4:22 "That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;"

1 Comments:

At 5:15 PM, Blogger Bud said...

I heard someone say the other day that it might be a good idea to deliberately ding our new car a tiny bit just to get it over with.

 

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