Monday, November 25, 2013

If at first you don't succeed...

When my conscience leads me to despair, the exhortation to try harder will only deepen either my self-righteousness or my spiritual depression. In other words, it will draw me away from my location in Christ and gradually bring me back to that place where I am turned in on myself. If the conscience is to find peace with God, there can be no help from the law; in fact, it is the law that arouses my conscience to my utter sinfulness.

Michael Horton. Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church (p. 130). Kindle Edition.

Another interesting thought, one that has proven itself true in my experience. Now I know there are some who can excel just through their will. At least for a time. My brother is a great example. He kicked a heroine habit just by gutting it out. After being homeless, living on the streets, stealing just to get the next fix, he finally gave up and went home. When mom and dad picked him up at the airport, they barely recognized him. He went through the withdrawl phase and did not pick up a needle again...for about 10 years. They say heroine is the hardest drug to overcome, its addiction is so powerful. So ten years is an amazing feat. But once he picked it up again, he couldn't put it back down, no matter how much he wanted to. He went through the withdrawal phase time and again, but soon after was back for more. Finally, in utter despair, he took his life.

The world says keep trying. Or try harder. Jesus says something completely different. He tells us to come to Him. He says surrender. Those are difficult words for folks in our culture.

5 comments:

KC Bob said...

Such a moving post Don. Speaks to me about our need to be and not simply do.

Don G said...

Thanks. Yes, we need to be. But we also need to receive. Just to be still and know that He is God. Sometimes that is the hardest part.

KC Bob said...

True words Don. Perhaps being still is the heart of what it means to be content?

Don G said...

Yes, I believe so. Seeing my daughter and how her condition affects her. But also knowing that she is in God's hands, and that it so much greater than anything else. Yet it is tough at times too. Seems like content is something to be gained. Maybe that is why Paul says that he "learned" contentment through what he experienced.

KC Bob said...

"Seeing my daughter and how her condition affects her."

I can so relate Don. Watching Ann struggle with disability has be so gut wrenching. Learning to be content with suffering and affliction is not for the faint of heart.