‘the story we tell ourselves about ourselves in order to account for what we are doing’ ~ Slavoj Žižek

When a professing believer is confronted with the obvious evidence that they are not walking in a manner worthy of the name “Christian”‘ often they try and explain it away by giving their personal story about why they are “different” or “if you knew the whole story”…….

Personal stories can have the most profoundly distorting effect upon our moral judgment. By playing up the ‘luxurious’ details of personality and the ‘depth’ of individual character, we can blind ourselves to the true ethical nature of our actions. ~ Alistair Roberts

  1. ‘Our story’ is not some eternal truth, but an account told by interested and unreliable narrators—ourselves—and should be handled very carefully as a result.
  2. Not only are we the narrators of our own stories but we are also the primary hearers—it is a story we ‘tell ourselves about ourselves.’ We are the ones most easily and typically deceived (usually willingly) by our own unreliable narration.
  3. It is a story told ‘in order to account for what we are doing.’ As such it is a story typically designed to help us live with ourselves and our actions. It is usually a rationalization, an attempt to make sense of our actions retrospectively.

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? Jer. 17:9

A rhetorical question expecting a negative answer. However, this strongly negative assessment of the human heart is not intended as a description of the heart of a believer under the new covenant, where God promises to write his law on people’s hearts.

When we examine ourselves by the mirror of God’s word; when we look in that mirror and don’t turn away and forget what we saw; when we like Isaiah – realize out sinfulness next to God’s holiness; our story will change.

 

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