(August 24, 2015)
I have struggled in my life dealing with the fact that the natural man is so successful, and I know from talking to others that this is a common complaint. What is worse, the natural man is not only successful in the areas we expect him to be successful in (politics, business, sports, etc.), but also in areas that we don’t expect the natural man to thrive in. The natural man at times prevails in interpersonal conflicts, or in Church matters, or in civic or charitable organizations.
This bothers me (and others) greatly, because a portion of our natures desires that life should be fair. C. S. Lewis described this deeply held desire for fairness as a powerful evidence for God, because nothing in life points towards fairness and in the absence of God nothing will or should be fair.
But we know that life isn’t fair, and it isn’t designed to be. Instead, life is designed to be a test – and, in that light, it becomes clear not only that the natural man does win in many of these situations, but also that the natural man must win in these situations. Were that not the case, there would not be value in putting off the natural man.
To properly sacrifice the natural man, we must choose to live the life of a saint even when that choice means that we will not achieve our deeply desired temporal goals because others, choosing to live in a different manner, will unjustly receive the things that we sought. Only under circumstances such as these can we know that we have placed our desire to follow God in front of all earthly considerations, rather than following God because we wanted this or that blessing.