Wednesday, February 18, 2015

I Am Nothing!

I don't have a lot of interaction with Christians. A few have stuck with me on Facebook, and most of my family and extended family are believers, but really, I just don't swim in those waters anymore.

Now that I am out though, things look very different when I get that occasional peek back. One thing that really stands out is the verbal and mental self flagellation.  I listen to friends and family drone on about how unworthy they are, how little they can accomplish, their weakness, their waywardness. Phrase after phrase they apply the lash.

Of course, they do not see it as negative speech, because they top it all off with some confession of Jesus.  I get it.  I used to say similar things and I said them with pride!  My favorite song repeated, "I AM NOTHING!" over and over in the chorus.  From experience I realize that pointing it out to them would be... well, pointless.

Free from such negative self-talk, I can only look on now in pity and wonder.  I no longer think of myself as unworthy, nor do I see others that way.  I would question any deity who desired such things to be uttered from the mouths of his children.

It reminds me of the story of Daniel Everett.  He was a Christian missionary who went to live among a tribal people called the Pirahã.  Everett eventually abandoned his faith as he began to realize he was trying to teach this happy, contended people that they were actually bad and in need of a savior.  He needed to give them a disease, so he could offer them a cure.

My wife and I occasionally get books or sermon cd's from believers.  If we will just listen to this tape, or read that book, all of our "questions" will be answered.  I am polite, but rarely do more than thumb through the pages or give a moments listen.  My wife is much more patient and has been slowly working through one of the latest books.  She told me tonight why the book really doesn't "work".

"The author assumes I am needy, or desperate, or broken.  But I am none of those things.  I am happy... so... that approach doesn't work for me anymore."


Don said...

The assumption that we're all a "fallen" people no longer works for me either.

Alice said...

I wonder why we ever did buy into that idea of being broken.

Andrew said...

In my case, I bought into it because it was the only game in town... so to speak. The bible contains some truth, and I think one of its best passages is - "Every argument sounds correct... until the other side is presented." The only think religion needs to sound reasonable, is to be the only voice being heard.

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