May 3, 2010

The Value of a Soul

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. "All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me." Matthew 4:8-9.

I'm reading through Matthew again and yesterday it struck me that satan knows the value of a soul. He proclaimed that he'd give Jesus all the power and riches of the world if Jesus would worship him. That is if Jesus would in essence say, "You are God, I acknowledge you as the supreme power of the universe and will do your bidding." Satan and his demons know the value of our souls, too. That is not to say they value (esteem and honor) our souls. However, they'll put up a huge dowery for Christ's bride. They, in combination with our own flesh, will do anything to indulge us away from God. How easily do we, like Esau, sell our birthrights.
 
I am also reminded that the devil is often disguised as an angel of light. Some examples? Illicit relationships. Power in the church and Christian institutions that does not belong to us, but to God. Our indulgence in "godly activities" while ignoring God or those closest to us.
 
The devil and his demons will not tempt those maturing in the faith (most of the time) with what is obviously evil. No, the evil he comes at us with is bathed in light. We need discernment to see through that dark light, to notice that he is trying to get us to worship the good, to commit idolatry (we can ask ourselves if a good thing is consuming all of our thoughts, our time, our attention--if a good thing is calling the shots). We need the Church to help us discern. It is amazing how Scripture or the words of a saint either living or dead (living with Christ) or even beauty can jar us into reality.
 
Many more than we know are bowing or tempted to bow in exchange for something deeply desired. We are all tempted toward idolatry, to sell our souls for the good because we haven't figured out that the good is not God (Of course I am not saying that God is not good!).
 
I realized that of myself recently. I had to repent and I must continue to be on guard.
I realize again and again that I am capable of every evil, every sin but for God's grace.

1 comment:

Brother said...

A very sobering reflection - thank you! I often tell my students that evils and goodness sit side by side. It is easy to discern them until that is evils appears as good...then it gets tricky.