June 15, 2009

Proud Kings

For, such is the blindness with which we all rush into self-love that each one of us seems to himself to have just cause to be proud of himself and to despise all others in comparison...The very vices that infest us we take pains to hide from others, while we natter ourselves with the pretense that they are slight and insignificant, and even sometimes embrace them as virtues. If others manifest the same endowments we admire in ourselves, or even superior ones, we spitefully belittle and revile these gifts in order to avoid yielding place to such persons...Thus, each individual, by flattering himself, bears a kind of kingdom in his breast... Let us, then, unremittingly examining our faults, call ourselves back to humility... Now, in seeking to benefit one's neighbor, how difficult it is to do one's duty! Unless you give up all thought of self and, so to speak, get out of yourself, you will accomplish nothing here.
John Calvin - Institutes of The Christian Religion: 3.7.4-5
We are all proud kings within our own bodies, we are all blind to our own faults, the sharper we see them in others, the blinder we are to them in us. Doesn't matter where we are in life, we struggle with our own pride.

I can imagine how silly I would look trying to defend my prideful actions before the divine judge. It cannot be done. His will be done. And He does not wish that we act in self pride but in service to others, to the throne, to His glory.

Today, think about a criticism you recently had of another, and search inside. The more vehement the criticism, the more deeply embedded within you is the same. We do not like what is in us, but it is much easier to criticize others. The Triune God has inexhaustible love resident within the Trinity, and as a result, endless love for us.

Think about that before you step in front of the divine judge to hear about your life. We will all squirm, but how much?