The Daily Application of God's Word
Destructive Personal Traits: All
(Thread begun by RandyP )
There is a consistency and all inclusiveness to the Bible. There is a consistancy and all inclusiveness to the situations and traits that we find our selves in. Whether we are willing to admit it, the similarity and consistency is quiet curious indeed.
I began researching this ministerial resource viewing all of these personally destructive traits as singular individual items failing to see the obvious connection similarity between them all. Once alerted to the possibility that these things run concurrently within each of us and that our deceitful hearts and reprobate minds are at the helm steering us away from accepting the living proofs as clear evidence, I began to see why the Bible deals with this sum as a whole.
The language and context of the Bible approaches the whole of mankind as fallen, as an inner sunken man in conflict with what was to be a an elevated spiritual man, an inescapable all encompassing sin nature for which Jesus had to die for on His cross, as individuals whom once convicted by His Spirit turn from/return to/are set apart by a new and dawning light shinning brighter and brighter till the full of day.
In the scriptures we are given not only historical documentation and stories, we are given spiritual blue prints to our own natures and hearts. It is hard to see the relevance of forty years crossing a desert for instance until we see how the mind suddenly and unexpectedly is freed from captivity being prepared for receiving a spiritual promise. We are given these blue prints through multiple humanly approachable means, through poetry/proverb/parable/prophecy/epistles/historical accounts/symbolisms/rituals/types; pictures and images thousands of years wide, universally tall and the people and experiences of tribes and nations deep.
How is it then that the Bible can say so much about redemption and salvation and sanctification and atonement sacrifice, but in our eyes say little or nothing about individuals dealing successfully against temper or addiction or sexual immoralities unless we are purposely withholding the consistent convicting evidence and Biblical remedy from our own eyes?
Instead we should consider that all of these destructive items dwell within us as one sinful mass, that we may be somewhat successful in containing certain manifestations, that we mentally reduce/minimize/deny/compartmentalize/deflect and justify the rest. It is only when we've damaged ourselves and others beyond the reasonableness of denial that we hold ourselves accountable, but only to that one manifestation, seldom to the more truthful entire nature.
The missing link in our thinking is the correct image of God. God is brought down to a level that our sin nature is more comfortable/tolerant with. It is an image that we can wrap around our will and twist however you see fit. This image allows us to continue doing/saying/believing what we do, all the time causing the ill that we cause. The correct image of God does not allow for these rationalizations/mis-representations/justifications/contrivances.
Here then consider these traits both as a whole and as God would see them.
God creates a man, man leaves God behind, substitutes himself to fill the void.
How does man treat God? As if He doesn't exist, or as if He was much less then what He truly is. With anger/contempt/blame amongst all else.
How does the man treat others? Man pretty much separates himself from the others, preferring the company of a select few within an acceptable/self fulfilling (small pond) environ of organized social rank and structure. Anything that challenges that order is met with dissonance.
We are all prone to anger, at times even hostility. The tools of the trait are verbal aggression leading physical intimidation, temper leading to rage and abuse, wrath and violence. It can be manifest in the individual and manifest in the small pond group via peer pressure and intimidation. Though most of us have some resemblance of management/suppression, the virus lays moderately dormant within us.
The trait initially designed to be aggressively proactive against the sinful nature that God abhors has been perverted into a aggressive reaction toward any challenge to our self devised righteousness; especially towards differing contrivances and impositions of religion and morality.
God creates man with a certain insatiable drive and longing for further fulfillment, a loving addictive codependency upon Him and upon each other.
How does man pervert this ever growing longing for Him? With an inescapable gravity toward self, to seek one's own desires and imaginations, one's own pleasures, one's own rule and determination.
We are all addicted to the sin nature. We crave it, we are functional only in the sense of obtaining our next fix whether it be success or prosperity or power or class or fashion or education. Sexual addictions, chemical addictions, religious addictions, they are all part of the same.
How can we say that one is really any worse than the others when they all keep us from our addiction to the love of God?
God creates man to walk in His light. Man's heart is to plan his path, God's heart is to guide his steps. In all, the creative God of all the universe is to provide for and to take enormous pleasure in His man.
Man leaves God's light, plans his path with out the guidance (read rejection) of his steps, proceeds on his course by assuming/stealing/purchasing right of possession over a considered blind providence. Man fears the known and the unkown. He worries perfusively. He stresses over things outside of his own control. No mention of God, no prayer, no supplication.
We all exhibit anxiety and stress and worry. The majority of our decisions are made from this off balance stance leading us to more fear and more failure and more endless compromise.
Where is the peace of God's communion now, o' son of self?
God creates man to be intelligent and rational and creative; at the same time trusting/faithful/obedient.
What does it mean for man to argue with God? To insult Him by bringing His image down to a level beneath of us (since we can't bring our image up beyond His), an image of debatable theory and relativity and fallible resemblance? To make Him as one of our servants rather than us to Him? To slander His image by joke or innuendo or cursing or mis-representation or doctrine in calloused conversation?
We all speak with what seems to our own eyes harmless words, but to His eyes what amounts to tongues dipped in venomous poison, a spark spreading like wild brush fire. Just how far off could our judgment be?
We exhibit this same opinion towards each other be it our bosses, co-workers or fellow students, our corporations, government bureaucracies, neighbors, foreigners, casts. Our lives are largely made up of these diminishments and murmurings.
Man has become a exaggerated characture of himself; an accusation.
God created man to be their God. I've heard it explained the man is a love gift from the Father God to the Son God; not a gift of robotic minds mind you but, a gift of freely devoted and willingly committed participating admirers.
Man's device however is to take that freedom of will and subject it to the most miserable outcome; his own darkened reprobate self. What has the man to be arrogant and proud of? Something that he did that God did not yet do for Himself?
We all think ourselves as rightly balanced between meek and humble, deliberate and assertive. How is it when we look at someone else's arrogance we can see it for what it is, but not our own? Are we stubborn to the point of foolishness? Are we insolent to the point of callous disregard? Don't we walk upon each other to get to where we want?
Truthfully, these answers may be a hot burning match. To see our various prides as God sees them is quite a stunning revelation.
God created man to be shameless (to have done nothing to be shameful for). The first thing man does after the fall? Hide away in shame, avoid God of all persons. Now that each of us have done the shameful, His offer is to separate us and draw us back out.
It has been the same with us ever since. Yes we all avoid God. We are timid in our walk with Him (when we do walk) and enable/encourage/facilitate others to be the same toward Him.
But, not only that, we act shamefully toward each other. Avoidance, transference, mutual enablement and encouragement to continue in the same, it is all part of our current reprobate mode. We are bold for the things we should be shy of. We are shy for the things we should be bold in.
Is it that we are ashamed of ourselves, ashamed of each other, ashamed of Him?
God created man to live in His truth, to emulate His truth, to thirst and pleasure in His truth.
The image that we've developed of God is a lie. How then can our lives be anything other then that then?
The lie spills out into our daily lives like an uncapped wellspring. It is in our hearts, on our tongues, in our dealings with even those we love the most. Funny how the rest of the family can know and recall events by our lies, but we can't. Funny how we can know and recall others by their lies, but they can't.
We've spent a lot of effort minimizing our perception of our lies. How much effort does God put on that?
God created man to loyal and dedicated, persistent and not wavering. What does the reprobate mind make of it?
You know if it was just one of these personal traits we probably say we could deal with just that. When it is all of these traits however, shouldn't we rather say "how did it ever come to this"? Why do these many things relate so closely to each other and strike so close to home?
Add compulsive and obsessive behaviors into the mix and one can see why addiction for instance is so dangerous, why anger becomes so destructive, why deceitfulness becomes so heart wrenching.
We all partake in this perversion of single minded persevering diligence to varying degrees and intensities. Because one man exhibits less externally doesn't mean that he doesn't contain an equal portion; it simply means that he contains it better (for now).
You can imagine just how compulsive and obsessive people get in the Internet forums and chat rooms when they are trying to disprove God.
God created man with heart to freely love, freely desire, freely long for the things of truth/mercy/wisdom/mutual joy/communion.
What does man freely choose to desire? The list is never ending... everything but the one most important thing. The serpent implied to Eve that God was holding "something" back from her, we've been seeking to find that "something" ever since, something that would make us like a god. Did she ever find it?
I know that we don't think about it this way, but what if in the final judgment everything we did was driven by this envious mis-placed search for something that was an outright lie to begin with?
God created man with the richness of being able to see something better out of something plain and ordinary. Whether it be invention or adaption, or architecture and structure, or the fine or political arts, or the mathematical sciences, the mind is largely driven by the splendor of imagination.
The mind void and rebellious to God drives imagination an opposite direction. How far will the imagination go before it turns back? Is there really any new deprived imagination being imagined now under the sun? Is there any imagination being imagined now that in the end won't have been imagined in vain?
God created man with a certainty, a peace, a quiet calmness/goal/purpose and the abilities to reach that. The path was straight and narrow and the burden light. Boy did we ever get off on the wrong track!
No one ever said that life was going to be easy, but there are many times in each of our lives that it just all gets a little too unbearable (most often by our own making). The further we get off track it seems the more friction and resistance momentum fights against. Solomon perhaps put it best by putting the blame squarely on the vanity this life under the sun without the light of the God much further above.
Why not except our state for what it is? Accept His mercy for what it is?
God created man to want to know and want to listen to and obey His voice. Our will however is bent upon self determination. How is that going to work?
It is rather easy to disobey His voice when His voice is held off in the far distance; somewhere out there beyond edge of the universe. It is easy to overlook it in all the white noise and chaos we purposely surround ourselves in. The image of God that we have invented doesn't consist of a God that has purpose our direction of His own, He is merely there to help us along with our purpose and direction.
We act this out towards others as well; "You are not my god", "I will do as I damn well please...thank you very much". Any notion that this word is sent from God or this law is His command, there is a part within each of us that immediately is aroused defiantly.
Whose are those voices telling us to be that way toward each other and God?
God created man to be trusting, believing, and faithful. That wasn't going to happen in our reprobate state now was it?
This is perhaps the human trait that hurts God the most. The trait runs so deep that even amongst His redeemed it takes years of process to re-establish His intended design in us. We suffer this towards Him, we suffer this towards each other. Can we say that anybody living in this flesh has not suffered the same?
It is because of what others have done to us, rape for instance, that many blame God. One cannot trust one that one blames; not for that. It is because of what we've in turn done to others that we blame ourselves and thereby cannot trust our selves with others.
God created man to go out of his way to praise and revere Himself and others, to reflect His glorious light warmly and evenly across all spectrum's.
It is each of our natures to reflect our own brash determination, our own individual uniqueness and accomplishments. The foolishness in our nature however does not accept spiritual correction or instruction or reproof, it simply seeks its own way and it's own respect.
Todays culture flaunts it's rejection of sound morality and doctrine; it insists upon me to tolerate it...if not I am intolerant.
God created man with the logic to understand the error of his and others ways. He gave man the ability to know what is just and right and deserved and yet weigh that against the desire over rule that with love and mercy. The light that God has shown toward us is the light that we show towards ourselves and others.
The reprobate mind we possess currently does not discern the light that has been shown towards us however, it shuns that light. "What would God have to forgive me of anyway", "now that guy...that guy is the one you should be talking to about remorse and forgiveness...he should be asking me for forgiveness after what he did". Is that how it works?
We act like we don't know what we need to be forgiven for from God. How insolent and obtuse.
God created man male and female, with a beauty and a passionate desire for intimacy, with an amazing tactile sense, with an ability and longing to share and to procreate.
We all take this spiritual essential much too far into the flesh, ourselves not being in the spirit. Sexual identity and behavior has so much to do with who we are and what we are willing to allow ourselves. It is not coincidence that the first thing challenged after the fall was the perception of our nakedness. It is not coincidence that the satanic and demonic religions delve so deeply into sexual realms.
Jesus himself perhaps made his best illustration about our propensity to minimize the total reprobate nature when he discussed adultery not just as act but the desire. Paul later explained sexual nature as one of the first manifestations of the reprobate mind.
God created man to accomplish, to do and be active and engaged, to be productive and fruitful, not as a dead limb.
We don't consider ourselves lazy normally, but are we lazy toward the things of God? Have we put off what we knew to do all along? Have gone about our own interests, our own undertakings, busied ourselves in everything but what what was laid out for us to do? Is it then the fear of having to do that that has us put that off?
In this light even the busiest of us can be as sloths.
God created us that He might provide all manner of good things for us. His providence is beyond bountiful.
The things that He has provided we've called our own. The things He has used others to provide for us we've called our own. We think that we have earned all this, that we deserve all this, that we deserve more than what we now have. It is our right. It is all ours, for our pleasure, for our necessity, for our own possession. It is our property.
What have we earned? What do we really possess?
Thoughts that are not ours. Ideas that we didn't come up with. Public entitlements that were falsely given by bureaucracies that suck up every last dollar, debt and falsely inflated economies that are secured against the collateral of our future generations without their consent.
Even when it comes to helping ourselves through these destructive traits, we steal verses from scriptures we have no intention of paying back, having no desire to discern the fuller context, having no desire to pay forward or backward or sideways to anybody besides ourselves.
The commandment is "Thou shall not steal". The response is "okay I haven't". Haven't we though?