Trusting God Enough To Be Seen (2/25/18)
Steps 3 and 4
--excerpt from Chapter 4: A Good Lamp, pg. 34-35--
Let's draw this together with another marvelous quote from Jesus, who seems to have preceded modern depth psychology and Step 4 by two thousand years. He says, “Why do you observe the splinter in your brother's eye and never noticed the plank in your own? How dare you say to your sister ‘Let me take the splinter out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a log in your own? Take the log out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take the splinter out of your brothers or sisters eye" (Matthew 7:4-5).
Step 4 is about seeing your own log first, so you can stop blaming, accusing, and denying, and thus displacing the problem. It is about seeing truthfully and fully. Note that Jesus does not just praise good moral behavior and criticize immoral behavior, as you might expect from a lesser teacher, but instead He talks about something caught in the eye. He knows that if you see rightly, the actions and behavior will eventually take care of themselves. The game is over once we see clearly because evil succeeds only by disguising itself as good, necessary, or helpful. No one consciously does evil. The very fact that anyone can do stupid, cruel, or destructive things shows that they are at that moment unconscious and unaware. Think about that: Evil proceeds from a lack of consciousness.
Jesus also says shortly before, “The lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light. But if your eye is disease, your whole body will be darkness. And if the lamp within you is, in fact, darkness, what darkness that will be” (Matthew 6:22-23). Step 4 is about creating a good and trustworthy lamp inside of us that reflects and reveals what is really there, knowing that “anything exposed to the light will itself become light” (Ephesians 5:14). Somehow goodness is transferred by radiance, reflection, and resonance with another goodness, more than by any act of self-achievement. We do not pull ourselves up; we are pulled.
God does not directly destroy evil, the way our heroic and dualistic minds would like to imagine. God is much wiser, waste nothing, and includes everything. The god of the Bible is best known for transmuting and transforming are very evils into our own more perfect good. God uses our sins in our own favor! God brings us - through failure - from unconsciousness to ever-deeper consciousness and conscience. How could that not be good news for just about everybody?