Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Ezekiel 20

(February 24, 2015)
                There is a common refrain from those antagonistic to religion that religion destroys self-esteem and lowers our capacity to act positively on our own behalf.  But this chapter illustrates that there really are only two ways of looking at our souls (deep down).  We either see ourselves in our own nothingness before God or we are filled with regret and self-loathing at our own unrighteousness.  There is no middle ground.

                I know (from experience, sadly) that we can lie to ourselves to the point where we can believe that there is a middle ground available to us.  We cover our regret and self-loathing with any number of ready-made, satanic blinders – anger, fear, self-righteousness, pride, lust, and so on.  But these are numbing agents, or serve only to distract us from the pain that our self-loathing brings in our heart.

                In contrast, recognizing our own nothingness before God would seem to be destructive to our self-esteem and our happiness.  But this recognition is a recognition of the truth, and the truth is a blessing rather than a curse.  Because when we recognize that we are nothing before God, and when we understand that despite the enormous gulf between Him and us, that He still loves us and will empower us to accomplish His work for us, we suddenly acquire true confidence – not self-confidence, but confidence in God.  This is the confidence that brings peace and brings power.

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