“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18, ESV
I am one of the most prideful people I know. I approach every situation as if I have something invaluable to offer, even when it comes to my relationship with Christ. So often when I pray I offer my own strengths to God as if they are my own. I live my life as if without him I am perfectly capable of doing nearly anything. I compartmentalize my spiritual life to fifteen minutes a day, then continue to carry on like God should not permeate every aspect of my life.
Oh, how prideful I am! I have a faulty mindset that entering God’s presence is a privilege for Him. However, this mindset does nothing but idolize myself. In this way, I become my own god who has a sort of “metaphysical friend,” and this godly buddy I have merely bestows his blessings as a form of payment for my presence. Often I am fearful to admit to this perverse mindset because of how deeply prideful I am. I do not want to admit that I elevate myself above God, but my daily life too commonly indicates otherwise.
I have a faulty mindset that entering God’s presence is a privilege for Him.
What are we to do with our humanity; how can we be fixed? My innate problem is how evil I truly am. In fact, as Jonathan Edwards so bluntly spoke, “We contribute nothing to our salvation except the sin that made it necessary.” I am so helplessly sinful that everyday I wake up I fall into my own destruction. However, where there is bad there is also good. Sadly, we cannot be fixed. On a good note, we can be saved. We are so depraved and inherently fallen that fixing is beyond hope for us, but hope in Christ is a saving hope that can eternally redeem us.
It is only when I arrive at the point of my complete wickedness that I truly value the weight of the incarnation of God into man. When Jesus came down to earth, the aftermath was more vast than any natural disaster in history. Our reconciliation to Christ is the greatest miracle of human history, and this same miracle can be offered to us. What is so awesome about this is that there is nobody beyond saving, because to God, you and I are just as evil as a murderer. Jesus offers us a new beginning to anyone, and in seeking him, we will naturally be molded into the image we were created in, which is God’s image. The Christian metanarrative offers a beautifully redemptive story that ends with the righteous dying for the unrighteous. This ending is unlike any modern story of valiance, and this sacrifice is unparalleled. 2 Corinthians 5:21 proclaims this:
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
So, I encourage you to ponder the capacity for evil that we all possess. Every one of us is capable of horrible acts that would make national news, but the beauty of the fallen human condition is that it is shared throughout the world. As we all share a sinful nature, so we also share the chance to partake in God’s story of redemption. Only he will make us new. Only he will change our wicked desires. Only he will redeem us, and this is the beauty of the Gospel. Christ decided to impose his worthiness into our worthlessness, and all the value that we have is from God, so why would this not cause us to to overflow with loving thankfulness? In our sinfulness, we ought to love God and others before all other things, and naturally Christ will gravitate to the forefront of our lives. Let us go forward in everything that we do with confidence in Christ alone, praising God for the redemption he so graciously has offered to us.
We are as people treading through a dense fog, determined to make it through on our own since we are capable in our own eyes. It is only when we realize that our own toil is vain, that Christ can shine through the shroud of mystery that fills our lives. In this way, he strikes away all doubt and confusion as to what our purpose is in life. Though life will not always be easy, Christianity provides a worldview that can be wholly consistent and reassuring. So, let us not dwell on our works to wade us through the difficulties in life, and also we mustn’t allow God to shine through in our lives for a measly ten minutes a day. Rather, I encourage you and I to jump fully into what Christ has to offer us in our depraved human condition. As the late C.S. Lewis once wisely articulated,
“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”