January 16, 2008

Resolved (Day 10)

Pride. One little word. Many destructive effects. It was pride at the root of the fall of mankind in Genesis. It is pride that is at the root of our downfall today. It is the one thing that lurks around every corner to destroy us. It is an evil poison for which there is only one cure: The Gospel

#12 – Resolved: If I take delight in it as a gratification of pride, or vanity, or on any such account, immediately to throw it by.

There are a lot of things in life that we do and put our hands to simply to make ourselves feel like we are more than we are. We are creatures who want to take our value and our worth from something related to how good we are.

Think about it. Sports. Jobs. Hobbies. Education. All things that if we excel at, have the temptation in them to puff us up and cause us to think more highly than we ought to.

You know, at the base level, believing in the Gospel (Jesus) is in many way a total renunciation of pride and vanity. It is a recognition of who Jesus is and who we are not.

John Piper tells a great story about his dad (who was an evangelist) saying to him "Johnny, it isn't getting people saved that's the hard part, it's getting people lost".

Truer words could never have been spoken. We don't want to really believe that we are prideful, arrogant, sinful, perfectionistic, self-absorbed, me-first brats. We just don't want to believe that about ourselves. We want to think of ourselves as loving, caring, generous, kind, and all other kinds of nice words. We want to believe that is who we are at the core.

In reality, nothing could be farther from the truth. Without Jesus, we remain totally focused on ourselves and consumed with how the world will revolve around us. That's who we are by nature. And Edwards understood this.

He knew his tendency to take joy and satisfaction from things related to himself, as opposed to things related to the Glory of God (Resolution 1). And so, he committed himself to always examining why he was joyful. Why he was happy. What was the source of that delight as he called it. And if it was found to have come from something that gratified him out of his own self-absorption or elevating of himself rather than Jesus, he resolved to rid himself of it.

He understood the perils of focusing on me and then getting happy when me was rewarded.

The one thing the Gospel demands is that "I" be taken out of the equation. It's not about me. Not even my sin. It's about Jesus.

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