Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Being made much of

Our fatal error is believing that wanting to be happy means wanting to be made much of. It feels so good to be affirmed. But the good feeling is finally rooted in the worth of self, not the worth of God. This path to happiness is an illusion. And there are clues. There are clues in every human heart even before conversion to Christ. One of those clues is that no one goes to the Grand Canyon or to the Alps to increase his self-esteem. That is not what happens in front of massive deeps and majestic heights. But we do go there, and we go for joy. How can that be, if being made much of is the center of our health and happiness? The answer is that it is not the center. In wonderful moments of illumination there is a witness in our hearts: soul-health and great happiness come not from beholding a great self but a great splendor. (Piper, John. God Is the Gospel: Meditations on God's Love as the Gift of Himself. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2008. Print. 13)

Did you read that? Try the first line again. The idea that happiness is found in being made much of is illusory at best; it is hell at worst! And yet, I know my heart often tends towards being made much of. But the witness of the Holy Spirit in my inner man, the witness of unmuddled thinking on the topic, and most importantly the witness of God's Word completely contradicts the idea that there is anything even close to true happiness found in being made much of. If anything in this life terminates on me and not on God it is of no value whatsoever.

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