“…this only makes sense if God is the central reality of our lives.”

godwardlifeFrom John Piper’s A Godward Life:

…destruction can feel good in the process. No one breaks a covenant (or contract) because it hurts to do so. No one sins out of duty. Covenants are broken because it feels good to be free from the commitment. Covenant breaking is a way of short-term pain reduction, but in the process of reducing our pain, we destroy life.

One might say that the whole Old Testament is written to persuade the world that the short-term happiness of covenant breaking leads to destruction and misery. The Lord God said,

If you…break my covenant…I will appoint over you sudden terror, consumption, and fever that…cause life to pine away. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. (Leviticus 26:15-16, RSV)

Can a man…break the covenant and yet escape?…Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: AS I live, surely my oath which he despised, and my covenant which he broke, I will requite upon his head. (Ezekiel 17:15, 19, RSV)

But in America a whole religion of self-psychology has risen which makes covenant faithfulness almost intelligible. The concept of God has been so reduced and internalized that whatever is left of the sacred has its center in the self, which means that today covenant commitment is primarily a commitment to “god,” namely, self. And the primary duty of this “covenant” is to feel personally happy and fulfilled, even if vows are forsaken, promises are not kept, and contracts are broken…

…The truth is that true selfhood flourishes in covenant faithfulness…The true self is created by the Truth and flourishes in relationships of truth telling and covenant keeping.

Of course, this only makes sense if God is the central reality of our lives.

so what do you think?

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