And that… they say… is why we behave the way we do. (Or some such.)
They say… we misbehave… ‘cause we have this low self-esteem.”
I remember some 20 years ago, when my then-wife, wanted a divorce, her saying to me, “I don’t deserve all this love and attention you’re giving to me.”
What a crock of sh*t !!— So, I guess those shrinks make as much sense of this as anyone… i.e. her low self-esteem would not allow her to accept or believe the love I was giving to her, so she says “I don’t deserve this love.” and bolts.
Anyway… my point is not about psychology, run-away wives, or how to understand human behavior… I really want to talk about Paul’s evangel… and what God accomplished in Christ’s cross.

  1. There is a difference in Paul’s writings between SHOULD and OUGHT. When Pauls says we SHOULD behave ourselves… it’s with the idea that ALL THE CONDITIONS ARE RIGHT FOR YOU TO DO THIS OR THAT. In other words… If I push the plate far enough off the table it SHOULD fall to the floor. — There is no moral obligation on the plate to fall. It should fall. All things being equal. I bring this up, ‘cause little miss Freewill Chick and her band of high-minded teachers are quite sure YOU “SHOULD” — MORAL OBLIGATION TYPE — DO THIS OR THAT to be saved. Otherwise, endless hell for you, sir. They tyrannize you with the kind of SHOULDS that have moral obligation written all over them.
  2. They never bother with such key phrases as GRACE OVERWHELMS, or GRACE SUPERABOUNDS. — To them it’s YOU MUST REPENT, YOU MUST BELIEVE, YOU MUST RECEIVE, YOU MUST OBEY, and on she goes.
  3. There’s even a notable differences in NEGATIVES in the writings of Paul. Apparently in the Greek of the New Testament — you can have two kinds of NEGATIVES — one is a strong, absolute negative. And one is a softer, relative negative. You can see these two negatives in Romans 8… where Pauls says NOTHING is condemnation to those in Christ Jesus, they are (not-soft negative) walking according to the flesh — because sometimes we do walk according to the flesh — but no matter — NOTHING IS CONDEMNATION to those in Christ… Because God honors what Christ did on the cross, He justified us there.
  4. The psychologists, and Joel Osteen types all have these things we can do to improve our so-called “self-esteem” — yes, the Joel types turn the bible in to some kinda “self-help” book. In spite of the fact Paul says some wickedly grooving things like:

Not one is just” — not even one. Not one is understanding. Not one is seeking out God. “All avoid Him”: at the same time they were useless. Not one is doing kindness: there is not even one!
Oh my…. that’s from Romans 3, verses 10-13… And it gets worse in verses 14 through 19… but this is rough enough for my purposes here.

Paul’s remedy for all these “low self-esteem” problems is what was accomplished on the cross.

We were justified there. Now, God is not reckoning our offensive acts to us. The future… looks bright… not our personal future silly, the future of all… our eonian future and beyond the eons.

Paul’s explanation for this bad behavior is not like the popular psychologists. Paul says we behave badly because DEATH IS OPERATING IN US.

Wow, what a thought… every day, we get a little bit closer to our last breath, and THAT is why we behave badly. These mortal bodies drive us to steal for food, etc, etc, they even drive us to gossip.

Ever notice how full of pride young people are — to the point of saying some god-awful things about some older person… ha, just wait… in a few years, they’ll be in the same condition.

Our hope is in Christ. Not just for our personal salvation. Our hope is in Christ for life’s justifying. (Romans 5:18-19)

Grace to you, all of you.

P.S. Note: The young (pride-filled) wife says “I would never cheat on my husband.” Then, 3 months later, she’s caught in bed with the milkman. The razor sharp psychologist says “It’s low self-esteem.” And we all shake our heads, not at the chick, at the psychologists…
Paul’s explanation makes more sense: “death pass through onto all mankind… and death is operating in you…” We’re all mortal and we can’t think clearly.
But one day… “this mortal shall put on immortality” …then we can re-write the rules of understanding.
No wonder GRACE is the favor of God shown to those who deserve the opposite. Ain’t the cross of Christ sum’em?

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