Sunday, July 15, 2007

Who, me?

I’m still working on St. Augustine’s Confessions. It is still some good food for thought. Looking back, in his spiritual autobiography, he remembers how he viewed sin as a young man, which doesn’t seem far from how our culture, even within the church, sometimes views sin. Consider this:
It still seemed to me that it is not we who sin, but some other nature within us that is responsible. My pride was gratified at being exculpated by this theory: when I had done something wrong it was pleasant to avoid having to confess that I had done it, a confession that would have given you [God] a chance to heal this soul of mine that had sinned against you. On the contrary, I liked to excuse myself and lay the blame on some other force that was with my but was not myself. But in truth it was all myself, and my sin was the more incurable for my conviction that I was not a sinner” (89).
Maybe it’s me, but Augustine doesn’t seem like a “the devil made me do it” kind of guy. Self-examination may not be fun, but it can certainly be used of God to move us toward godliness. If you dare, pray along with David: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalms 139:23-24).

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