I’m continually amazed at how great we think we are. The focus on the self and its capabilities is astounding. It’s become so normal it’s promoted as good. Here are a few quotes that express this thinking: Love you. Trust your own goodness. Believe in your own powers. They’re fantastic quotes if they’re backed with God. By themselves, they’re empty.
I know folks take issue with God – and for good reason. Those claiming to know him have made a mess of things in many respects. That said, clinging to 17th century Enlightenment thinking that highlights man as the ultimate, and that there is no God, is a crappy alternative.
If there is no personal God, no intentional creator, why should I love me? I’m simply a biological phenomenon that crawled up out of the ooze. What is my purpose? To survive? To keep the species alive? Why should I do that?
And what is goodness? Why would I trust my goodness? If it’s not God, who is telling me I’m good, other than me?
As far as belief in my own powers, these are limited at best. I generally end up in some sort of trouble – whether relationally, emotionally, financially, or otherwise.
These well-liked Facebook quotes are simply another way of saying you can do it, you don’t need God. It taps into reason and intellect, and smears in some spirituality that sounds a lot like Stuart Smalley – I deserve good things, I am entitled to my share of happiness. I refuse to beat myself up. I am an attractive person. I am fun to be with.
If we look at these same quotes with God we get a much larger picture of how amazing we really are.
I can love me because the creator is absolutely thrilled with me. Just like a parent adores their child, God loves me, wants to get to know me, and wants what’s best for me.
I am good because I possess a spark of the divine. When connected to God I can tap into compassion, grace, and goodness greater than I’ve ever experienced. This is what Jesus is inviting people to in the kingdom of the heavens.
As for power, on my own I am extremely limited. With God I can be used in ways I never thought possible. My weaknesses become strength.
On our own we lose perspective. We gain a false sense of empowerment. It might feel good for a bit, but reason and logic don’t fill the void. They can’t. We’re spiritual creatures. Reason and logic are good. If we listen, they scream that we need God too.
Thanks for reading,
~ Ted Olson