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The World Cannot Understand This. Do you?

My best friend works as a "test evaluator". She reads hundreds of answers to standardized essay questions from children in schools throughout the United States and it is her job to score them. The companies philosophy is that "nobody fails". They instead call a failing score, "delayed success". "Self-Esteem" has become the worlds answer. They think that if we feel better and better about ourself we will be happy! The Truth is, that as we feel worse and worse about ourselves we actually find the key to true and lasting happiness-a happiness that the world cannot understand.

By nature we are thoroughly in love with ourselves--but as the Divine work of grace is carried forward in our souls, we come to loathe ourselves. Those who have been saved from penalty of sin, are being made increasingly conscious not only of sin's polluting presence, but of its tyrannizing power! How can we explain the fact, that the Christian finds himself growing worse and worse--the more closely he endeavors to walk with God?

The answer is because of increased light from God, by which he now discovers heart-filth of which he was previously unaware. The sun shining into a neglected room, does not create the dust and cobwebs--but simply reveals them. Thus it is with the Christian. The more the light of the Spirit is turned upon him inwardly, the more he discovers the horrible plague of his heart (1 Kings 8:38), and the more he realizes what a wretched failure he is!The fact is, dear discouraged soul, that the more you are growing out of love with yourself, the more you are being saved from the power of sin.

Wherein lies its fearful potency? Why, in its power to deceive us; it lies to us. It did so to Adam and Eve. It gives us false estimates of values so that we mistake the tinsel for real gold. To be saved from the power of sin is to have our eyes opened so that we see things in God's light--it is to know the truth about things all around us, and the truth about ourselves.

But further--sin not only deceives, it puffs up, causing its infatuated victims to think highly of themselves. Sin ever produces self-love and self-righteousness. But when God takes us in hand, it is the very opposite--the workings of the Spirit subdue our pride. How? By giving increasing discoveries of SELF and of the exceeding sinfulness of SIN, so that each one cries with Job, "Behold! I am vile!" (40:4). Such a one is being saved from the power of sin--its power to deceive and to inflate.

Growing worse and worse!(Arthur Pink, "A Fourfold Salvation" 1938)


FCB said…
This is a great piece; they say that Spurgeon was the last of the Puritans, but I think Pink may be.
This is the very thing that people who know not Christ stumble over. They see their strengths and forgive their weaknesses and resent them mentioned. But for the light of Christ dawning on the soul we would go off singing and dancing to destruction.
So true how we as Christians are so colored with self love that it takes a lifetime for us to come to complete helplessness. But line upon line and layer after layer we begin to see what we really are; it would be overwhelming, but Christ reveals these things as He more clearly reveals the remedy, trusting in Him alone. That's my take on it.
I think what you began with, regarding children, is not so much about the child failing as the parent. Most children, with a loving, involved tutor can take their failure and turn it into a delayed success. My prayer is they find that tutor.
God bless,

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