Nothing New

As I've been in Seminary I've realized that there's nothing new under the sun intellectually speaking; I truly believe most thoughts have already been thought. So that leaves me with two options today, I can present you with some 20 year-old "wisdom" or I can present you with some 1,623 year-old wisdom. Let's go with the latter.

In his book Confessions, Saint Augustine recounts when he found himself in a situation of youthful self-reliance that most of us would recognize in our own lives. He wrote of a pear tree close to his own vineyard, containing an abundance of pears. He interestingly noted that the fruit wasn't even tempting for its color or flavor, yet nonetheless Augustine admitted that he and his companions would regularly run to the tree and steal a huge load of pears. BUT not for themselves to eat and enjoy but rather to feed them to pigs. At first this may sound strange, you may say, "what kind of nasty person would do that?!" I certainly thought that at first, but Augustine went on to describe that the pleasure was not the pears themselves but rather the forbidden act of stealing the pears. He noted that evil was not a means to his end but rather evil was his end! His great goal and pleasure, the object of his delight, was evil itself.  
Perhaps the greatest temptation when reading history is to remove ourselves from the era. "Oh I wouldn't have been a Nazi, I would've helped the Jews!" or "I wouldn't have had slaves in America, I would've freed them!" Short answer, you would have, and I would have. Because whether it's pear-stealing, genocide, or slavery we engage in, apart from a new heart in Christ our greatest pleasure is evil.  

Just like I said in the beginning, there is nothing new intellectually under the sun, and this concept that Augustine wrote about is found in Romans 3:10-12, "as it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one. There is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks for God. All have turned away; all alike have become worthless. There is no one who does what is good, not even one."

But don't let this truth of who we are apart from Christ weigh you down! Let it humble you, and let it inspire you to run to Him who loved us in spite of our wickedness. This glorious truth is found in Ephesians 2:4-5, though you may have heard these words a thousand times, I encourage you to dwell on them, and let them carry you through the week trusting only in Jesus. "But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us, made us alive in Christ even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!"
May Christ our King be the new object of our delight!
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