There are plenty of religions in this world. It’s easy to find the one you like the most and adhere to it (they’re all similar, right?); not unlike shopping for a car, you just have to look at all the features and pick one that suits your desired lifestyle.
But differing ideals produces interesting effects: suddenly, we’re pitted against each other, even going as far as making wars. Our ideals clash violently and spawn hatred. Suddenly, religious diversity doesn’t seem like such a good idea.
In this struggle, at the core, we’re all looking to get closer to God, right? In my opinion, the God as described in the Bible is the most inconvenient and simultaneously the most sensible God out of all others, because He demands absolute surrender and complete humility, while several other religions subscribe to self-empowerment, or conducting gods — primarily in polytheistic faiths. If everyone recognizes that they are less, and that the one true God is more, unification happens through neutralization and mutual love.
How is this possible? We must be willing to make a handful of admissions, among others, about ourselves and our Lord to make it happen. In today’s reading, David is lamenting after getting busted by his buddy Nathan for messing with someone else’s wife. He conveniently lays out the following admissions, the kind of stuff that’s imperative for us to mimic in any situation, in desperation or otherwise.
God is merciful. If you’re reading this, you woke up today. Positive thinking encourages us to believe we deserve each day, but it’s the inverse: we don’t deserve a single breath. Our “positive thinking” should be our response to God’s provision.
God’s love is unfailing. Your friends will break promises. Your parents will play favorites. Your children will be deaf to your voice. There is only one love that is truly everlasting and perfect.
Only God is capable of wiping out your sin. I’ve discovered that our studio dance floor will never be completely clean, no matter how many times I scrub it. How much more complicated is our soul? Yet God understands the intricacies of our hearts, even the seemingly impenetrable portions, and is the only entity that is capable of completely wiping the filth out.
Ultimately, you’re sinning against God. Yeah, your wife has no idea. That doesn’t mean God is ignorant as well. We must strive to put our sin away and strive for holiness. God doesn’t expect us to be successful, but we are certainly called to be faithful. That means actually trying.
You’re not perfect. You weren’t even born perfect. Rousseau said otherwise, that man is actually born good, but why does man continue to fall short of inherent virtues and moral standards? Humanism fails because humans are not God and are not perfect. You want to get closer to God? Worship perfection instead of yourself.
Fear is good. It’s trendy to “conquer your fears”, and even many churches subscribe to theology that we must be “fearless”. But without fear is a lack of reverence; we become superheroes in our own minds and gradually incline to dispose of God. I’m not suggesting we call become wusses, but recognizing that things are bigger than ourselves, and then that God is even bigger, is a step toward sincere trust.
A broken spirit and contrite heart are better than doing good stuff. James writes in the Bible that if we have faith, deeds must accompany it. Additionally, the writer of Hebrews states that without faith, it is impossible to please God. In order to have this faith the Bible speaks of, it requires wholehearted surrender to Him. You’ll have to get over yourself.
As previously mentioned, meeting the impossible standards of perfection is, by definition, impossible. Jesus Christ embraced this world with outstretched arms, sacrificing Himself so we might have complete access to eternal perfection. This doesn’t make our humanity disappear, but we’re justified with God permanently. Submitting to God in this regard doesn’t seem like such a bad deal after all.