Thursday, February 17, 2011

Intentional Failure

"Some set up a wrong standard of sanctification before their eyes, and, failing to attain it, waste their lives in repeated sessions from church to church, chapel to chapel, sect to sect, in the vain hope that they will find what they want.

There were people whose whole religion seemed to consist in going about complaining of their own corruptions, and telling everyone that they could do nothing of themselves... But I never like such complaints when I see ground for suspecting, as I often do, that they are only a cloak to cover spiritual laziness, and an excuse for spiritual sloth."
-J.C. Ryle in Holiness

These are two separate descriptions from two different chapters, but the first paragraph struck me as leading to the second. If we let ourselves get lazy and slothful, we will want to withdraw from people who start to sense it (usually caused by rebuke). And then as a way of hiding it from our new friends we self-depreciate or complain about our "corruption" to mask the root cause: laziness. In other words, we setup unattainable goals out of laziness, never intending to reach them, and then "confess" our inability to hide our intentional system of failure. This was eye opening for me.

No comments: