Tuesday, June 11, 2013

what I'm reading: when you love something more than God

I was sitting in my favourite cafe, reading Tim Keller's King's Cross, when I came across one of those passages that picks you apart at the very core:
When you are in spiritual darkness, although you may feel your life is headed in the right direction, you are actually profoundly disoriented.
If anything but God is more important to you, you have a problem with direction. It's impossible to discern where you're going, let alone where you ought to be going. Money, career, love - for a period of time you may feel you have something to live for. But if you actually get the thing you have been seeking, you suddenly realize that it's not big enough for your soul. It doesn't produce its own light.
Also, if you centre on anything but God, you suffer a loss of identity. Your identity will be fragile and insecure, because it's based on the things you centre your life on. It's based on human approval. It's based on how well you perform. You don't really know who you are. In the darkness you can't see yourself.
Moreover, in spiritual darkness you are isolated. You are wrapped up in the things that you're living for, so you're always scared or angry or proud or driven or full of self-pity. As a result, you become isolated from other people. ...
Let me illustrate this personally .... If my preaching and ministry are my ultimate centre and I get criticism, then I'm overcome with insecurity. Or when I fail to perform up to my expectations, I'm devastated. Inordinate guilt churns inside me. In the end I begin to disintegrate. ...
Spiritual darkness - turning away from God, the true light, and making anything more important than him - leads invariably from disorientation to disintegration ... But that trajectory won't stop at the end of our lives ... Being out of the presence of God, who is all light and all truth, means utter darkness and eternal disintegration ...
Jesus' death happened in the dark ... Jesus, the Maker of the world, was being unmade. Jesus was experiencing our judgement day.

Tim Keller, King's Cross, pp. 200-205, bold print mine.

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