Jun 28, 2010
On Silence & Self-Assertion & Prayer - Another Good Word From Peterson
Neither persons nor nations can exist in a healthy state absorbed in novelty and defined by advertising . . . . A self that denies itself, it seems, is not anemic and spindly. Unself-assertion is not wallflower piety. There is something healthy going on here connoting solidity and strength. In contrast, self-assertion turns out to be not self-assertion at all, but impulse assertion. The self wants to be excited, entertained, gratified, coddled, reassured, rewarded, challenged, indulged. There are people on hand to manipulate and market these impulses by seduction and persuasion. The American self [*including American Christian culture]characteristically chooses advertisers instead of apostles as guides. Self-assertion is, in fact, a euphemism for a way of life dominated by impulse and pressure. The self is alternately moved from within by whatever occurs in the emotions and glands, from without by whatever is presented by fashion and fad. As we become practiced in prayer we are unmoved by such bagaelles."
Excerpted from one of my favorite books by Eugene Peterson, Where Your Treasure Is. Pieces taken from pages 88-90.