Wednesday, July 15, 2009

...with a little help from my friend

While I work on my Rare Jewel posts, I find I'm not having much to say about anything else. I have had on my mind, however, the topic of introspection. Yesterday Paul and I were reading in 1 Corinthians 4:3-5, where the apostle Paul mentions he does not even judge himself, and thinking how different that seems to a lot of the attitudes we've come to have, and discussing what to make of it. We read a lot in the Puritans, which you may have noticed, and have been greatly edified; but Paul and I found ourselves discussing last night their tendency at times to become very heavily focused on self-examination and personal sinfulness. We discussed how this can sometimes lead to depression and despair. Sometimes we can find ourselves wallowing in the deep sucking mud of our dark sinfulness, but Christ has not called us to wallow and sink, but to follow him into freedom and life.

And so this morning I find these words from John Piper on my friend Jeri's blog:
"While I was a student at Wheaton College, a very wise and deep and happy teacher of literature, Clyde Kilby, showed us and taught us this path to health. Once he said, 'I shall not demean my own uniqueness by envy of others. I shall stop boring into myself to discover what psychological or social categories I might belong to. Mostly I shall simply forget about myself and do my work.'

"He had learned the deep significance of this outward-oriented self-forgetfulness from C.S. Lewis and drew our attention to it often. Mental health is, in great measure, the gift of self-forgetfulness. The reason is that introspection destroys what matters most to us--the authentic experience of great things outside ourselves."

from "The Clouds Ye So Much Dread Are Big With Mercy--Insanity and Spiritual Songs in the Life of William Cowper", The Hidden Smile of God by John Piper, pg. 112

Thanks Jeri! I needed that.

1 comment:

WhiteStone said...

Yep, I like that too!