Circles of Belief and Vocalization

The title probably sounds weird, but when I typed it in as a draft to write about later, that’s just what came to mind so I decided to just leave it.

I don’t really feel very motivated to expound on this, but I’m feeling like I never might…so I’ll just write the brief version.

It was just something I was thinking about and decided to blog about. I basically see it like this; every person has these analogous circles around them. There are different layers that represent a range of what we feel/believe about things.

The outer circle are things that we are dogmatic about. We espouse them without hesitancy; often with passion and sometimes with defensiveness. These might be things our worldviews are based on; whether it be religious foundations, family beliefs, certain issues of right or wrong, etc.

Then there is a closer (the person themself is at the center of this image) circle, where we hold things that we believe in, but we don’t “preach” them to others.

Then there is another circle that hold the things we believe in, but we are more open minded about and willing to discuss, debate and change our minds on if necessary.

Then there is a closer circle of things we would possibly admit to.

And finally there is the inner circle. A place where no one is allowed. A place where we do not wish to engage others with ideas, because there is always a monumental struggle going on there; with yourself. It is the locked safe in which we struggle with the truths of what we believe and feel and hate and love. Where we allow ourselves to question the unquestionable, to mention the unmentionable and all facades fall away. It is where no one is allowed to see, and no one is allowed to know. It is the uncovered, unshielded, unbridled heart/mind of a person.

The Bible describes this place as “desperately wicked.”  This is not to say that nothing but wickedness can come from it; for good things can come, but by nature it is a wicked thing.  The Bible teaches that this place is totally depraved.  That does not mean that it is as bad as it can be, but that it is as bad off as it can be; that the wickedness there transcends into every realm of the heart.

For the unregenerate – the nature remains purely evil – any restraining that is done, is done by the common grace of God.  But even for the regenerate, those with a divinely born nature (you must be born of water and the Spirit), we still have the wickedness in our flesh that rebels against our new spirit.  So even for the Christian we have this place of struggle.

This is the place I believe Jesus saw.  I’m sure you remember stories of when Jesus would be just around people…not even talking to them, and the Scriptures say He knew what they were thinking in their hearts. It was in this place I believe He was looking.

Anyone who is honest with themselves, knows they too have this place.  And if we are honest about the condition of that place, we should be immediately humbled and contrite before a holy (do not underestimate the meaning of that word), and righteously vengeful God.  Has God saved you?  What did God save you from?  God did not save us from our sin.  Our sin does not cast us into Hell.  God saves us from God.  His holy and righteous judgment that flows from his very nature.  He is a God of love, but make no mistake…He loves Himself most; His own glory is most important to Him.  For anyone else that would be vain – but for God it is the truth based on his own power, worth and holiness. It is all about Him and no other.

Thank God for his loving mercy found in the salvation given through His Son.  Through whom we have forgiveness of the sins of our wicked hearts, sparing us from His wrath.  His wrath did not disappear, but was poured out in full force 2000 years ago.  How great is our salvation!

Praise be to God for his grace!  For it is His grace alone that saves us.

(I did not intend for that to become a sermon…but a post about the psychology of people.  But everything inevitably goes to Jesus, in whom, for whom and by whom are all things.  In all things, Christ pre-eminent.)

[Originally written January 25th, 2008.]

Published in: on November 8, 2008 at 4:27 pm  Comments (1)