Monday, May 23, 2011
Yesterday I started reading The Life and Diary of David Brainerd on my Kindle. I have never read a man's journal/autobiography that writes so much about his own sinfulness compared to God's holiness.
It astonished me how little of a self-esteem he had. I mean, nowadays it's all about self-esteem. The world is telling us not to put ourselves down, we need to believe in ourselves, we need to have faith in ourselves. It's all about self-esteem in our day. And while reading Brainerd's entries it feels so different, it would seem so foreign to the world. In almost every entry that I have read so far he writes about how he is powerless and wicked in his heart.
There are not very many people who write like that nowadays. Consider part of his journal:
"I seem to be declining, with respect to my life and warmth in divine things; had not so free access to God in prayer as usual of late. O that God would humble me deeply in the dust before him! I deserve hell every day, for not loving my Lord more, who has, I trust, loved me, and given himself for me; and every time I am enabled to exercise any grace renewadly indebted to the God of all grace for special assistance. Where then is boasting? Surely it is excluded, when we think how we are dependent on God for the being and every act of grace. Oh, it ever I get to heaven, it will be because God's will, and nothing else; for I never did any thing of myself, but get away from God! My soul will be astonished at the unsearchable riches of divine grace, when I arrive at the mansions, which the blessed Saviour is gone before to prepare."
Consider that. And consider Brainerd's age when he wrote that! He was in his early twenties. How many of you know a young person who can write like that? Something that deep and beautiful?
You probably don't know many, if not any at all.
Not only is the world teaching the younger generations to have a high self-esteem, but they are teaching them to stay children even in the twenties. The world is teaching them to have parties and play video games all day; to stay a child as long as possible.
I think we need to take a look at David Brainerd and the young men and women before us who ignored what the world pressed at them and instead fixed their gaze to God.