Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Inner Strength (04/20/06)
TITLE: All My Righteousness - - Filthy Rags
By Katherine Hussmann Klemp
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Finding that the topic for the week was “Inner Strength” made me stop and think. Is that Biblical? I couldn’t think of a Bible passage that would lead me into introspection. I did, on the other hand, think of Cory Ten Boon’s admonition, “Look at the world and be distressed, look at yourself and be depressed, look at Christ and be at rest.
Inner strength seems an oxymoron when viewed from this perspective. If Thou, oh Lord shouldest mark iniquities, oh Lord who would stand? Inner rottenness leads to inner collapse. Inner strength? I think not.
I like to think of outer strength myself. I, a poor miserable sinner, am weak. God, the giver of every good and perfect gift, is strong. “A mighty fortress is our God,” says Martin Luther. “Rock of ages cleft for me let me hide myself in Thee”, says another hymn writer. “I set my eyes on the hills from whence comes my help”, proclaims the psalmist.
Sometimes we take what is perhaps a world thought, i.e. inner strength, and make our own interpretation. I know that it is the Christ within that makes us strong, but I think we would do well to remember that we are utterly corrupt. I know that in me dwells no good thing, and it is hard to separate the idea of inner strength from even the smallest bit of pride.
The children of Israel were saved from the poisonous snake bites in the desert by looking up at the bronze snake that God instructed Moses to put on a pole. We would do well to look to the hills, to the heavens, to the cross for our salvation. Outer strength. Honoring and revering an almighty God Who dwells outside of our prideful selves. I’m with Ms.Ten Boom. “Look at yourself and be depressed. Look at Christ and be at rest.”
There is no one righteous. Not even one. Romans 3:10.
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