Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Blessed Be Me!

Peter begins his first paragraph, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” It sounds like the right thing to say. It sounds Biblical, and churchy. We might all agree that it was the right way to begin a book of the Bible. We just don’t want to actually live that way.

The way that we want to live is, “Blessed be Me!” We want things to work out well for ourselves. We want to be assured of happiness, and to be able to attain success and to be recognized for it. We want our health to remain strong, our jobs to be stable, and our salararies to increase. We want our kids to be at the top of their class, and our property taxes to stay low. If all those things, and a few more, could be in order, then we would have the ideal conditions: “Blessed be Me!”

We think like this for at least two reasons. One reason is that we are taught to think this way by our culture. We live in a “me-first” world, and the combination of tremendous freedom and opportunity means that we can greedily pursue our own desires without guilt or penalty. In fact, such actions are rewarded and admired.

The other reason that we so easily continue in a “me-first” vein is because we are sinners. Sinners do not want God to be on the throne. We want the crown for ourselves. And though those who profess faith in Christ should find themselves in a daily battle with this sin and others, we have somehow accepted the myth that it is OK to re-verse the order of royalty in the world and re-write the Bible, so that instead of saying, with Peter, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,” we say “Blessed be Me!”, and scarcely give it a thought.

To those more sensitive than ourselves, we would be wary of such blasphemy, and fearful of the God from whom we are stealing glory. As John the Baptist said, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).

1 comment:

Jeremy said...

I was reading with a resounding "Amen!", Steve, until I got to that list.

There's nothing wrong with that list, is there?!!! Who wouldn't want success and recognition, more money, lower taxes and good health? Those are good things.

This thought ringing through my head was very convicting and demonstrates precisely the point you're trying to make. When I first started reading this entry, I was thinking of someone else (maybe a televangelist). But I soon realized you were speaking to me. Thinking of ourselves as slaves gives us a much different target to aim for.

Thanks for writing.