Monday, October 6, 2008

What a Paradox is Man!

Should we? Shouldn’t we? Everyday I live, it seems that man’s nature and actions, desires and needs comes into conflict in some way. What a complicated being we are as we search for that which is better, but lean toward that which is not. There is a struggle to be independent, to “stand on our own two feet” and smugly proclaim I did it, only to step almost boldly, in the midst of our attempt, upon someone else to get there. The bottom line is we are not so independent as we proclaim to be. In all of this, and many other illustrations of man’s curious nature, it is evident that we are a real paradox that no one save God can really understand, despite the best minds’ attempts to do so.

Paul, I believe, described our quandary the best in Romans 7:15 and following. “For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I…For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do…I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” (verses 15, 18-19, 22-25) Confusing? Even Paul struggled to describe the conflicting paradox within himself. But his bottom line was on target. Our truth deliverance is Christ. We will never completely understand ourselves this side of eternity, and even then we will not have attained the level of God’s understanding, for contrary to some cult philosophy, we will not become gods.

Well, in the midst of this journey into the confusing, let me inject a couple of poems that I composed to try to highlight the paradox we are.


Ah, what terrible glory,
When man mixes with divine.
That desired may bring pain’s searing,
When God’s brightness becomes mine.

Oh, what lonely loving,
When God’s love is realized,
For self gives in true abandon,
When God’s love has been applied.

Oh, what bitter healing,
When forgiveness must be won,
For man must bow in repentance,
To gain God’s balm through His Son.


We are drawn to the untouchable,
And seek to know the great unknown.
We will suffer pain and hardship,
To find ease and pain-free home.
We will strain when weak to strengthen,
We will fast to fill with health,
We both love to keep on hating,
And we give to gain great wealth.
What a paradox we’re living,
Yet resist God’s unseen hand,
When all He does is what is needed,
To fill all man’s true demand.

Perhaps my musings this morning have provided, if not complete answers to your quandary about the paradox of man’s nature, maybe enough of a question that you will continue to search the Scriptures for God’s answers. If I have raised questions needing answers, that may be the beginning of a fresh awakening to you. Why not return me a comment or thought? Perhaps we can explore this paradox further. In all, be encouraged today.


Mich said...

Hope you and mom have a great week! love ya!

Amber said...

I've been away from the world o' blog for a few days, so I've been playing catch-up this morning. I went through and read all your posts that I missed. I really like the one on the "real-estate." My kids want to make sure you know that a swimming pool (for them) is not a luxury, but a need!! :) HA!

Love you guys! Hope you have a good week!

Michael Cheong said...

'Paradox' is a permeating theme that we encounter in every area of human existence. Today, I suffer from a mysterious tensions in my nature, too. Sometimes confused, sometimes confident,sometimes into it vividly, sometimes outside it passingly, I always wonder how amazing everything is in this life. Praise to the Lord!

Ray Edwards said...

having a hard time doing this

Ray Edwards said...


Let me really comment now that I know how to send the comment. First I thought a paradox was two physicians, but I guess you already considered that. Anyway it reminds me of Psalm 8 where David ask the question, "...what is man..." I we cannot comprehend man, we should be supprised since man was created by an incomprehensible God. I'm just glad that Jesus loves me