The Problem Of Pride
What is important? Am I what is important? Or is there someone more important than me? The Theist believes in God. Intellectually, at least, the Theist concedes he is part of God’s creation and all creation exists for God’s glory. The non-theist does not concede any such thing.
If we believe in God, then we have taken the first step — merely the first step — in humbling ourselves before God. What does humbling ourselves before God involve? Each religious tradition has their own ideas about that, but the basic Christian idea is to try to understand what God wants from us and do whatever we can to please Him.
What did Jesus have to say about pleasing God?
John 15:9-17 New King James Version (NKJV)
Love and Joy Perfected
9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.17 These things I command you, that you love one another.
To be a friend of Jesus, we must obey His commandment; we must love one another as He loves us.
Why the emphasis on love? The Bible says God loves us, and He wants us to love Him. That by itself is enough reason to speak of love, but Jesus spoke of obeying His commandment as a requirement to receive His love. Then He commanded us to love one another. The logic of that seems almost circular. Yet unless we obey God, we constantly do stupid, destructive things, even self-destructive things. Apparently, our ability to reason does not provide us enough cause to obey God. Until we learn to love someone else, our life revolves around our self. When we lack humility, when we don’t know how to love anyone but our self, we perceive the world as we wish to perceive it. We don’t seriously consider what others tell us.
Think of how ridiculous that is. As David did, compare man with God.
Psalm 8:3-5 New King James Version (NKJV)
3 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,
4 What is man that You are mindful of him,
And the son of man that You visit him?
5 For You have made him a little lower than the angels,
And You have crowned him with glory and honor.
We are so small, so ignorant, and so dumb. With our reason alone, we cannot grasp the need to obey God. Given something we want enough, we rationalize. That’s because deep down we each want to be God. Therefore, we must learn to love God, starting with another human being.
1 John 4:20-21 New King James Version (NKJV)
Obedience by Faith
20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.
Of what use then is our ability to reason? God gave us the ability, but He has no use for our ability to reason. We need it to survive, but nothing we could imagine or contrive would would be something God doesn’t already know. Still, He cares about us, and He wants us to love Him. Perhaps that is why love, not reason, is at the core of that thing we call humility , our willingness to submit to God.
Other Posts In This Series
- Part 1 => Our Tiny Perceptions
- Part 3A => Examples Of The Failure Of “Reason”: SEX
- Part 3B => Examples Of The Failure Of “Reason” Part B: STUFF and STAT
- Part 3C => Examples Of The Failure Of “Reason”: SELF