Thursday, October 20, 2016

The American Myth

Well it isn't entirely American, but it is bantered about as a matter of certainty that Americans are a good people. Its similar to the myth of the innocence of childhood. Clearly the 2-year old cherub smiling at their parents can't be all that bad. But every tantrum, every rude driver, and even the cultural references to "NY manners" reveal the ugly truth. We are only "good" sometimes, and even then not that good to most people. We often are only good for our own reasons. Its good to help the homeless, the hungry, and the downtrodden. But we often are good in our daily lives because we know our coworker will reciprocate, our spouse will do something special, or we know there is something we will get out of it, like a box of cookies for that cause. When the world claims we are all "good at heart", it is trying to convince itself that is true. Sometimes we succeed at telling ourselves that. But the truth is uglier - our best isn't enough, even for us. Only Christ can make a work a good work. Only His sacrifice can erase our guilt. Otherwise we try to convince ourselves we are good people. All the while feeling just a little dirty why doing so...

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