Wednesday, November 7, 2012

It is with us, this world

Many years ago, I worked with an individual who was the proverbial shark in the workplace.
Political, eyes open for every opportunity, shaving corners (and sometimes more than corners), no sense of ethics, wouldn’t think twice about  someone else – lie about someone else – in the ongoing cause to promote the self.

The amazing thing was how the individual kept convincing senior managers of his (or her – I’m disguising the gender here) – competence, when all of the rest of us saw right through it.

The individual represented the perfect marriage of a colossal ability to bluster through anything with an almost legendary reputation for incompetence. Behind it all, of course, was a terrible self-image and an absolute fear of being kicked out of the company.

That eventually happened. And it happened again, at two other companies.

We can do a lot of damage, but we are frail creatures, we humans.

We like to think we command our own destinies, that we control all around us. We go to extraordinary lengths to maintain that illusion. The idea of submission is repugnant.

This is the way of the world, and we Christians are not immune to it. It is with us, this world. We are in it and too often we are of it.

In The Pursuit of God, A.W. Tozer points to a different way, but my human mind (not to mention my human heart heart) naturally rebels against it.

Exalting God.

“The moment we make up our minds that we are going on this determination to exalt God over all,” he says, “we step out of the world’s parade. We shall find ourselves out of adjustment to the ways of the world, and increasingly so as we make progress in the holy way. We shall acquire a new viewpoint; a new and different psychology will be formed within us; a new power will begin to surprise us by its upsurgings and its outgoings.”

It’s one of those great contradictions of the Christian life, the great inversion of the model of the way of the world.

We give up, to receive.

We lose, to gain.

We exalt, and are ourselves exalted.

Led by Jason Stasyszen and Sarah Salter, we’ve been reading Tozer’s The Pursuit of God. This week’s discussion is focused on Chapter VIII – “Restoring the Creator-Creature Relation.” We’ll conclude the chapter discussion next week. To see what others are saying about the chapter, please visit Sarah at Living Between the Lines.


David Rupert said...

The bullying incompetent is most dangerous. It's like they overcompensate for every weakness.

My best boss was the one who admitted his shortcomings and counted on me to help him overcome.

Its amazing when we give up, we win

Unknown said...

I have a old worn-out copy on this book...a wonderful message for sure.
Thank's bro'

jasonS said...

Such a powerful reminder to us. Our lives were created for fellowship and worship. In exalting Him, we find what we've been missing. Excellent illustration. Thank you, Glynn.

Fatha Frank said...

"The idea of submission is repugnant." What a perfect description of our sinful nature- what I want, no matter the cost. And so we fool ourselves into believing it will cost us a lot to surrender to God, to "step out of the parade" as Tozer puts it. But it only costs our will and we gain so much more. Thanks, Glynn. (And this is a good heart-check for how I represent Christ through myself at work)