Re. Why We Are Who We Are

Murr Feb 2012, Steffi in MM 002

“Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.” (2 Corinthians 3:5/KJV).

How we think about ourselves has an effect on all of our lives. The way we estimate our own behaviour determines (at least to some extent) our attitudes towards others.

The Greek word translated “think” in the above verse is the same as in 1 Corinthians 13:5: Love “thinketh no evil.” (KJV). ‘Logizomai’ also could be translated: to take an inventory, to estimate, to conclude, to reason, to despise or to esteem.

How do we think of ourselves? What are we going to conclude if we should perform well in some field?

Are we ever sufficient of ourselves? Our character and our personal strengths are the results of our childhood and of the input we have received.

In many ways, we may be different from others that have surrounded us. Yet it was the people we were interacting with that helped us become who we are.

In the final analysis, all the good sides of us come from God. God created us and all of mankind. God has put us into our place. God provides us with the food and fresh air we need. In that sense also we are not of our own and not sufficient of ourselves.

Whatever good we might achieve in our lives is a result of God’s blessing, really. Originally, God has created man in his own image.

Maybe you are a Christian and you take great effort to live a life that adheres to God’s standards. Possibly you are doing pretty well in some areas. Please note: this is also a result of God’s enabling you.

Some may have had a time where they were keenly aware of shortcomings. You may have had a great sense of need. You may have prayed to God for help even as Jesus has come to save you from your sins.

Now you feel more at ease. You sense you are closer to being sufficient to God’s standards.

Please remember this is not the result of your own efforts. It comes from God’s divine grace. It was He who gave you strength and opportunity.

As you always keep this in mind, you will learn to be more gracious with others. Your achievement is not of yourself. God also loves your fellow men.

As you point others to God they may begin to see a way where there was no way before. They may begin to gain strength, where they used to be utterly discouraged. A new beauty may become evident in their lives as they become aware of God’s great love. Jesus once upon a time has come so that all who would trust him might receive forgiveness and sanctifying grace.


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Concerning Evil Thoughts

close up of teenage girl

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“For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these things come from within, and defile the man.” (Mark 7:21-23/KJV).

The Jews in Jesus’ day were used to ritual observances. They were careful not to defile themselves by things they ate and by things they touched.

Here Jesus is pointing them beyond outward aspects of purity and holiness. He maintains that what really matters is the defilement that comes from within the human heart. There is a tendency to evil in man.

He presents a list of sins men may be prone to. Interestingly the first item he mentions refers to the realm of our thoughts.

‘Dialogismos’, the Greek word for ‘thoughts’ used here, refers to internal consideration, debate, dispute, imagination and reasoning. (Cf. DICTIONARY OF THE WORDS IN THE GREEK TESTAMENT by James Strong).

It is our evil intentions that matter. An inner striving and reasoning for evil do defile men, says Jesus.

The word ‘evil’ also could be translated by harmful, wicked, perverted, objectionable and offensive. Only after speaking of evil thoughts Jesus is listing various sins and transgressions of the Ten Commandments.

Many problems and evil deeds begin within the human heart. Jesus says that already our intentions and imaginations towards evil are sinful.

In 1 Corinthians 13:5 we learn that love “thinketh no evil.” (KJV). Love that is acceptable in God’s eyes would be free of sinful and perverted sidelines.


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