As you know, I don’t often write about myself, and if you’ve read me for awhile, you have at least an idea of why I don’t. You know there’s never just one reason for why human beings do anything much as we’d like for that to be the case. Now that I’m looking back on that last sentence, I can tell you I don’t like it, and maybe you don’t either. Still, I’m going to let it stand, but with this caveat, instead of saying “never” I’m going to say “most of the time.” Perhaps you have a better handle on your motivations for why you do things than I do, and if so then I congratulate you. You’re further along on the road to “maturity” than I am. For myself, I can tell you that I often see “self” lying somewhere in the mire of the complicated emotions and thoughts that trigger my actions and reactions toward my life, the world, and the people I encounter in it.
I don’t like seeing it, the “self-interest, the self-absorption, the self-love, the self-hate . . .” but more than these, the one I hate the most among all my many selves, is the one that keeps trying to draw a line; deep, dark, and wide between me and others; it’s the “self-righteous” one that I so often fight major battles with, and too often in my encounters with it I’m the one looking down on the one I’ve crushed underneath the weight of it.
The word “righteous” according to the American Heritage Dictionary means, “Morally upright; without guilt or sin.” I wonder does this definition make you pause as it does me? I guess whether it does or not depends on your definition on what moral is. If you look in the same dictionary, you’ll see that “moral’ means: “Of or concerned with the judgment of the goodness or badness of human action and character.” Read a little further, and it says, “Conforming to standards of what is right or just in behavior; virtuous.” There’s two words in the previous definitions that make me think of another word, “loophole,” and it seems to me that’s what so many people in this world are doing. Looking for loopholes.
“Loopholes” are created through the doorways of ‘judgment’ and ‘standards.’ Ever heard the phrase, “shifting morals?” If you haven’t then you’re not old enough to have seen them shift, but ask someone who’s over 50, and I’ll make a small wager that they have. I’d tell you to read back through history, but it’s being rewritten so fast I’m not so sure you’d actually see it unless you were really looking for it.
While you’re thinking about “shifting morals” I’ll lay another one on you. How about “Shifting sand?” Those of you who live by the ocean, a body of water, or are fairly familiar with their Bible no doubt have seen and know the term. Now there’s an obvious connection between the two terms, and one that perhaps isn’t quite so obvious, but no doubt you’ve made that one, too, and it’s in that they both have to do with foundations, and we all know what a foundation is, and what it’s for, and most of us have seen what happens when a foundation isn’t stable.
Without a solid foundation, few things will stand for long whether it be beliefs, buildings, or people. Eventually, everything is put to the test by something whether it be by tsunamis, tornadoes, or the trials, tribulations and temptations brought on by other people. We know people use all kinds of things as the foundation of their lives, but how many of those things can stand up to a fire? I have to tell you I don’t have anything materially that would survive if that were to happen to me, but spiritually I do.
It seems to me that more and more people in this world are choosing to build their own spiritual foundations based upon their own views of what it is to be righteous and moral and yet the judgments and standards used to assess those things are constantly changing. Perhaps that’s why we should look to the one who does not change, and to His word as presented in the “Holy Bible.”