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Theological, Doctrinal, and Spiritual Musing - and whatever other else is on my mind when I notice that I haven't posted in a while.
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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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Daniel's posts are almost always pastoral and God centered. I appreciate and am challenged by them frequently. He has a great sense of humor as well.
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His posts are either funny or challenging. He is very friendly and nice.
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[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
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This post contains nothing that is of any use to me. What were you thinking? Anyway, it's probably the best I've read all day.
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Daniel, nicely done and much more original than Frank the Turk.
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There are some people who are smart, deep, or funny. There are not very many people that are all 3. Daniel is one of those people. His opinion, insight and humor have kept me coming back to his blog since I first visited earlier this year.
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Friday, May 01, 2009
BUNK: I can't love others till I can love myself.
I thought I would start a new label today... the "BUNK" label. It will be a sort of folder into which I file my polemic opinions against common secular wisdom.

We'll start in Ephesians 5:29 where we read: "For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church," (ESV)

Do you eat regularly? Do you seek out shelter from the elements? Do you make sure you are dressed each day? You do? Why do you do that? You do that because you cherish your flesh. If you have a rock in your shoe, you immediately bend down and get it out, because you want your flesh to be as comfortable in every situation as humanly possible.

Many people who believe that they cannot love others until they love themselves are in fact deceived by their narcissism. Narcissism? Isn't that when you love yourself to the exclusion of others? Why yes, it is.

Instilling a high self esteem in students is still a primary goal of many educational institutions. The idea is that children will be more successful if they feel better about themselves is probably what is driving this program. What we are seeing however is a generation of people who have been programmed by the system to believe they deserve the life of the rich and famous, whether or not they got what it takes to earn it.

What happens when you think you deserve wealth, success, and all that goes with it? Well, let me tell you. No matter how educated, perfect, and "self-esteemed" your culture gets, you are still going to have rich people and poor people, famous people, and common people. You will not have a society where every person is rich, every person is famous, and every person is esteemed highly by everyone else.

There is a difference between training a child to be content with the way that God has made him or her, and quite another to train a child to believe that he or she deserves all that the world has to offer. How many young people are going out and mortgaging their lives in the first five years of their adulthood - so that they can have immediately what it took their parents a lifetime to acquire? Hasn't the economy shown us that it is folly to accommodate such a system?

I digress.

Listen, if you make sure that you eat every day, the bible holds that up as proof that contrary to anything you might say - you love yourself plenty. If you deny this saying, "That's different! I want to live, so I sustain myself, but I still don't like who I am - I wish I was someone else!", then you are blind also, because the only reason you want to be someone else is because you have an exaggerated opinion of what you deserve. You are not content because contentment is a lesson no one has ever taught you. Can I let you in on a secret? You cannot be hungry for something else and content at the same time, and being hungry for something else doesn't go away when you get it.

Take the man who wants to make $50,000 a year. He muses to himself, "I am not happy now, but I will be content when I make $50,0000 a year". In a short time he lands a job that makes the magic number, but finds he is not content. Now he says, I will be happy when I make $75,000 a year. But when that salary comes he realizes that he needs $125,000 a year for true happiness. The problem isn't that he doesn't have enough money to be content - the problem is that he hasn't learned to be content with what he has.

Do you think Jesus was content? How much did he have? Paul? I mean, the list could be quite long, as none of the apostles were wealthy. Now, what we say about money, we can say about anything - respect, friends, possessions, fame. If we are not content with what we have, our problem isn't that we do not have enough, it is that we do not understand where contentment comes from.

I have yet to meet anyone who is unable to love themselves. In fact, usually when I meet someone who thinks they are unable to love themselves I am actually meeting someone who loves them self with a fierce and exclusive love, but one that lacks contentment because it isn't willing to be spent on anything else besides self.

Do you see where I am going here?

The reason you can't love others isn't because you don't yet love yourself. The reason you can't love others is because discontentment is a bottomless pit that you are trying to fill with "things" - and since that pit is bottomless, no matter how much to pamper yourself, you will never be full - and like a rat on a wheel, all your running will get you nowhere - you will never love others because you are too busy running on the endless treadmill of loving yourself.

You don't need to love yourself in order to love others, you need to stop loving yourself so much! Invest yourself in others instead of yourself. Just stop trying to make your own existence better, and invest yourself in others instead. You will never make yourself happy by trying to make yourself happy. Joy will come when you make others happy, and it won't be a fleeting joy either - but one that remains.

For the Christian, we do this in Christ. We are contented -not like the Buddhist suppresses his selfish desires until he learns to be content with new acetic ones, but rather we satisfy our self that God made us to be who we are, and that his love for us is more than we deserve, and more than enough for our needs and wants. We are content because we belong to the King.

NEXT BUNK: I can forgive others, but I can't forgive myself...


posted by Daniel @ 6:32 AM  
  • At 8:33 AM, May 01, 2009, Blogger donsands said…

    Absolute Bunk for sure.

    It's understandable to be within the world, but in the Church? If I heard it once, and heard a thousand times: "God don't make junk." And from that statement comes the self-love, self-esteem teaching, which has truth in it of course, but does so much damage to the Christian's heart, and keeps the unbelieving heart from repentance.
    Why repent if I'm everything God could ever want. And God can't live without me.

    Thanks for the excellent teaching.

    Jesus said: "It's more blessed to give, then receive." And He said: "Die to self, deny yourself, hate yourself, sacrifice yourself for your friends; there's no greater love."

    have a great weekend, and especially Lord's day. May our Father bless your sermon and the ears that hear it. Amen.

  • At 12:17 PM, May 01, 2009, Blogger Daniel said…

    Thanks Don!

  • At 2:23 AM, May 02, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 10:11 AM, May 02, 2009, Blogger David said…

    I like spam, but not that kind.

    Daniel, I will never call you long-winded again. Today, anyway.

  • At 10:23 AM, May 02, 2009, Blogger David said…

    Oh, yes--good post.

  • At 8:43 AM, May 03, 2009, Blogger Daniel said…

    I generally try not to delete comments, but I do occasionally, and you will find a deleted stub in this meta for that reason.

    The comment, a poorly written 20,072 word rant (that's over 50 double spaced pages of text), was basically a meandering exercise in redundancy, peppered liberally with ad hominem descriptions of the rich and famous, EMPHATIC CAPITALIZATION (to underscore the random shrillness of the author), and a consistent lack of respect for spelling, grammar, and punctuation which saturated the entire work. The tone of the comment was the equivalent of sour milk, and being liberally spiced with such an invective tone and such a broad vilification of anyone rich and famous, it just didn't strike me as having anything to do with the post at hand.

    Don't get me wrong, anyone is welcome to post their 50+ page comments in my meta, as long as they are on target and works of literary genius.

    You see, I can excuse a two or three page comment for lacking in literary excellence because I am not going to spend over an hour reading it. I can even allow a longer comment if it stays on topic even if the writer is given to an unfortunate habit of excessive verbiage, for I can hardly fault another for that which I suffer from - but this was not a work of excellence. It was a meandering rant that I didn't read a quarter of before knowing I needed to delete it.

    NOTE: The author of the comment began with a classic chain mail style taunt, which by itself says much: "The vast majority of website operators don't have the guts to allow this post, anything like it, any searchable lines, or links. They have been deleted more than 90% of the time."

    Dear Anon - your comment was not deleted because I lack the guts to allow criticisms of the economic system, but because it was an off topic, poorly written, and laborious read. Try rewriting it in 1000 words or less, without using invectives, CAPITALIZED WORDS, and change the tone from shrill rant to concerned citizen. If you really want to go over the top - you can have someone proofread your work for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors, but even these are easily overlooked if the content is (otherwise) appropriate and relevant.

    Site Administrator.

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