Save my home (but don’t really)

4 11 2009

Last night I had the unusual displeasure of watching a local reality TV Show called “save my home”. The show featured a host, a financial advisor and a couple in financial dire straits. I must confess at times I feel a certian pull towards these shows, but not that often. However something that this financial advisor said certainly got my attention.

The couple were in debt via a mortgage and various other personal loans. They were getting deeper in debt on a weekly basis, and had no option but to sell up, pay off all their debts and move into a smaller place. Then the unthinkable happened. Someone made an offer on their house that enabled them to do just that. They would be able to move into a smaller house, which would still have been awesome, and save an extra $300 per week. Not to mention that they would be debt free in 10 years, instead of filing for bankruptcy.

BUT this is the thing that gets me. They went all the way to signing the conditional offer, but refused to sell the house. The wife had too many emotional objections. Even when confronted with all the facts she spent her time yelling at those trying to help her, telling them that it was none of their business as they had no vested intrest in the house.  All the while her husband stood by and let her carry on like this (which is a story for another time see my post yesterday).

It made me wonder about the nature of humanity. So often we are confronted with all the facts, the evidence against us is overwhelming yet we dig our heels in and refuse to budge. We get backed into a corner, the argument is already lost and our best defence is diversion. In this case the couple got what the advisor had said was coming. The buyer withdrew his offer, and the couple are now deeper in debt. How often do we do this? How often do we ignore the facts that are plain to see? Why do we want to fight to be right even when we are clearly wrong and why oh why do we hate accepting help from people when we can’t manage things ourselves?

For me this serves to confirm what the reformers were talking about when they used terms like Total Depravity and Irrisistable Grace. Humanities nature is so tainted by sin, that faced with choosing God, or choosing sin unrepentant humanity will always choose sin. Here we must be careful to say sin = doing bad things, and choosing God = doing good things. Life isn’t that simple. Rather sin is open rebellion against God’s rule, a denial of the image of God and a colluding with the forces of evil against God. We are bound to this sin until God removes our heart of stone, and replaces it with a heart of flesh. This is the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit.

Apologetics and rational arguments have their place. But as N.T. Wright so eloquently says, there is much more to this world than imagines by post-elightenment and rationalist philosophers. God did give us a brain, and we are to use it. But without recognising this as the basic stance of humanity we run the risk of letting rationalism set the agenda.

Only the Gospel shows humanity for what it truly is, and only the Gospel has the power to change that. Let us hold fast to the Gospel.




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