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Posts Tagged ‘self-justification’

girl looking in mirror

I am “curved in” on myself.” My curved-inward self lives “as if God did not matter and as if I mattered most” (LSB, p. 292). “The tug of our flesh is always and ever toward self-justification,” writes Rev. John T. Pless. “Self-centeredness is not just socially inappropriate; it is a matter of idolatry. It is the way of the flesh to fear, love and trust in the self above all things.”

Will things improve if I just forgive myself? No! This is “not only a cruel impossibility” writes Pless, “but blasphemy. Only God can forgive sin, and the self is not God! It is one thing to say that one must learn how to live by the promise that sin is forgiven. That’s faith. It is quite another thing to say, ‘You must forgive yourself.’ That’s idolatry because it makes the self the savior.”

In a world that celebrates self as lord and savior, where is my hope? In a world that does not suppress self, nor hold self in suspicion, nor call self to repentance, where is my freedom?

It is in Jesus Christ! He carried my sin to death and reconciled me to His Father. I justify nothing, but the Lord of my life justifies the most unjustifiable! What comfort there is in knowing that this curved-inward and selfishly-bent woman will find strength, good conscience, and hope not in myself, but in the promise of God.

Jesus is Lord… and I am not.

With appreciation to Rev. Prof. John T. Pless
and his article “I’ve Got to Be Me… or Not”
(The Lutheran Witness, October 2015)
Photo credit: canstoc

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