Monthly Archives: November 2016

The Swim Upstream

Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. (2 Tim 3:12)


Well, there is your promise! To be a Christian is to swim up stream. To swim upstream like a salmon means that you will be buffeted by fast flowing water, falling rocks, bears, and other predators. There will be difficult jumps to make that result in bruises, scratches and pain. There will be exhaustion, and hunger. All of these things you don’t have to face if you stay in the ocean – if you just “go with the flow.” But the godly life is a swim upstream. We swim “farther up and farther in” because we are convinced of a greater joy that awaits us if we press on. People will resent the fact that we see something that they don’t. All people, I believe, instinctively know somewhere deep in their heart that there is something eternal to be gained by swimming against the current towards God. They deny what their hearts know, and that makes them a little bit grouchy towards us who refuse to live in that denial.

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The Goodness of Depravity


As in the days of Bastille, the gates are being stormed again. What is to be set free this time? The notion of sin. Unlock it, let it fly away, let it be gone from us forever.The concept of human depravity, the archaic belief that we are somehow systemically sinful needs to suffer an extinction.

The human is good we are told, based on what? We don’t know, we are just supposed to believe it’s true, bad things that happen all have reasonable explanations.
Environment, illness, and unfortunate circumstances are all much more civilized explanations for bad behaviour then this black heart theory.

David knew better. He looked into his own heart and he saw the blackness that was there.

What did the acknowledgment of his own depravity do?

It made him humble — in this passage there’s not a trace of pride or arrogance, he was painfully aware of his sin

It made him grateful — God had chosen to bless him in spite of his depravity. Everything he had was more than he deserved

It made him worshipful — his heart overflowed in love for God because of his good fortune
. He was unworthy, but loved anyway. 

Without human depravity the natural tendency would be for

  • Humility to become pride  
  • Gratitude to become a demanding of my rights 
  • Worship to become self exaltation 

Human flourishing does not occur when these trade offs happen

“What more can I say to you about the way you have honored me? You know what your servant is really like.”

I Chronicles 17:18