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Saturday, August 9, 2008

A Worth-while Pondering

I originally posted this as a note on my Facebook, but I realized that some of the people that see this blog don't necessarily see my Facebook. I think that this is worthy of the blog since this is a very practical theological pondering. Please take a moment to ponder these words and meditate on them and how they may be applied to your own walk with the Lord. If you don't see the validity of them, or if you can't see yourself mustering up the affections necessary for such a pursuit--get on your knees.

Enjoyment is something that we all seek. If we're seeking it in something other than God, we are denying God the rightful place in our lives.

This paragraph is from one of CS. Lewis's sermons entitled "The Weight of Gory." I came across it when listening to the first chapter of Desiring God. I believe that it's an accurate assessment of most people's flawed understanding of what our motives ought to be when seeking to serve God and others. Take a look, and lemme know what you think...

"If you asked twenty good men today what they thought highest of the virtues, nineteen of them would reply, Unselfishness. But if you asked almost any of the great Christians of old, he would have replied, Love. You see what happened? A negative term has been substituted for a positive, and this is of more than philological importance. The negative idea of Unselfishness carries with it the suggestion not primarily of securing good things for others, but of going without them ourselves, as if our abstinence and not their happiness is the Christian virtue of Love. The New Testament has lots to say about self-denial, but not about self-denial as an end in itself. We are told to deny ourselves and to take up our crosses in order to follow Christ; and nearly every description of what we shall ultimately find if we do so contains an appeal to desire. If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly to hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept in from Kant and the Stoics and is no part of the Christian faith. Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half- hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased."

Now, before you deny this as being applicable to you, seriously consider your true motives when seeking to serve you simply deny yourself something and take pleasure in your own piety? Do you exalt yourself in your own mind? Do you rob yourself of your heavenly reward? There is a fine line between seeking joy in serving others and seeking self satisfaction in your own pride. This is truly something to think about. Please prayerfully consider these things, and aim (as I have been seeking to do) toward the pure goal of satisfaction and joy in bringing joy to others and glorifying God in the process.

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