By Logan Evans
I’m not myself lately.
No. That’s the problem.
I am myself.
My nature is exposed sans-gospel the less I am being filled with truth.
I am myself.
All the common traits of my strife and woe lies in how they might affect and impact me.
Not the Church.
Not dear friends.
Not close confidantes.
I am a god unto myself:
I seek my praise and glorify my name and long for all to know me and love me;
I serve myself, for who better to receive it?
And I am unto myself a god of destruction, for these things I seek and desire for myself will be my end.
Who among the sin-ridden could withstand the adoration of the multitudes and not be obliterated by the weight of it all?
And even now I praise myself for how well I construct this image built by words and wonder at my eloquence and dare David or Augustine to put their mortal curse of narcissism in a more profound way. I am bloated with pride and feel confident that my words are surely worthy of marvel
when “I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.”
This from Paul, a man of high education and privilege of superior training, who, ironically, proved in scripture his capacity for demonstrating high rhetoric and wielding words pulled from a vast artillery.
Yet, he decided that the gospel alone and people being unified in and by the gospel alone was more important than the praise and wonder he could gain from eloquent speech.
And I am a fool.
Towards what end am I working in my eloquence?
Jesus Christ will last long beyond me.
I am insecure and fragile enough to need (or convince myself I need) to be oh-so-well-spoken and well-written for the sake of honor and praise, for without it I would surely diminish and decay.
Seeking glory for myself is my undoing. It will end me. I have not the capacity in this depraved and earthly state to rightly handle praise. I cannot handle it and do not deserve it.
Perfection deserves praise.
Perfect, whole beauty.
Too much of a good thing will kill that which is not wholly good.
God is good.
and holy in every way
and possesses no sin,
houses no evil.
He is the One and Only capable of handling an eternity of praise.
God is good.
God exists as good.
No one is good except God.
He is the chief Good.
If I am good or am recognized for good, that is God in me. I cannot achieve good without God, not completely. God exists before and after and beyond all else.
No one and nothing is good except God.
To have anything else as the mode and motive of good in my life is foolish.
So, if I am to adhere to the idea of God as chiefly and completely Good and solely deserving, then the implications are extraordinary.
If God is the chief good in my life then
I obey His commands
I love Him
I love others as myself
I love others more than myself
I operate in a manner which correlates with the good of God
I work hard and well using the opportunities and skills and gifts and abilities my good God has given me
I bring attention to Him and His Goodness through my own wonder of His Goodness and do not use the good He has shared with me for my own benefit, but rather use it to demonstrate the Good of God.
I have not good of myself, but only what I have from God.
He is Good and not I.
He is God and not I.
Logan Evans is a member of FCC.