Humility and Depravity
I relate so much to Martin Luther as I read and watch how he acted in private and how some of his persuasions (left to himself) were some things that others could not swallow. A good example is my concept of self. You hear it more than others: “I hate myself more than any of you.” Such a conviction keeps me humble and keeps me at the foot of the Lord. Such a persuasion pushes me to worship the Lord for His consideration of such a pile of dung that I am. Such a concept causes my wife and others to say … “You are too hard on yourself!” But no, not hard enough.
I often think that suicide is the best thing for me – but then again, I would be too arrogant to think that I could even do that! It is a circle of humiliation. No matter how I try to resolve my dungness, I become more and more dungy. In an ongoing and insanely war against myself, I lose. And I begin again. For only such a loser could lose when he is the only one competing! Such a loser am I.
Thus, the round and round attempts to resolve put my mind in a daze to the point of dizziness that I fall to foot of Christ in tears (even as I write this my eyes are watering and I am wiping them to prevent more humiliation among my peers). While at the foot of Christ, God picks up my pieces and says “You are beautifully made. I love you.” It sounds ludicrous to me, but that again is my arrogance speaking.
I cannot apprehend why a holy and righteous Lord would love the likes of me.
Am I too hard? No, rather too soft. For to be too hard would imply that I deserve anything good or that I earned anything well. But to be too soft is to imply that I have not really emphasized the depth of my lowliness.
The words of John the Baptist come to mind as I close, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).