Mark Galli Comments on his Heart

November 30, 2012

Mark Galli in his review of DeYoung’s The Hole in Our Holiness writes:

The older I’ve grown, the more I realize how layered and subtle is my sin; the more spiritually mature I am, the more I realize, along with Jeremiah, how desperately wicked my heart is. In that sense, as I run the last laps of life, I’m much less impressed with my outward progress, and more aware than ever of my sin, and more and more in a constant state of repentance. Others compliment me on my “progress”—I no longer have a temper, I’m more considerate of my wife, more compassionate toward others, and so on and so forth. But they cannot see my heart, and if they did, they’d run in fear, repelled by the cauldron evil that remains. Perhaps I’ve simply failed in the pursuit of holiness. Or maybe the pursuit of holiness is not so much a striving to adopt a life of habitual virtue but learning how to live a life of constant repentance.

His Solution:

I believe that a conscious and purposeful pursuit of holiness is about the worst way to go about it. I cannot think of a person I know or a historical figure who has aspired to holiness without suffering from spiritual pride. This has certainly been the case in my own spiritual journey. The times I have deliberately tried to become godly are when I have become most like the devil—irritable, judgmental, arrogant, and prideful to start with. The paradox is when I stop trying to be holy, and simply repent as the sinner I am, I become more patient, kind, and loving.

What do you think?

I appreciate Doug Wilson’s inimitable attempt to synthesize the different views on sanctification.


2 Responses to “Mark Galli Comments on his Heart”

  1. ancientcures Says:

    GOD knows what HE wants us to change in our lives, and will, if we pay attention, remind us of what it is, by gently prodding us to do it HIS way. I’m with Paul who said that he judged no one and not even himself, for there is only one Judge and that is GOD. Spending a lot of time checking to see if I am Holy seems like time that is wasted, although I do see great wealth in periodically checking to see where I am. There is now No Condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, Romans 8. That being said, if my spirit does not condemn me and the HOLY SPIRIT is not condemning me either, then I should have peace, knowing that I am pleasing GOD, and that is what is important. The world wants to find self, but GOD wants us to focus on HIM. We could all lament the fact that we are horrible sinners and while true, maybe it’s better to remember that the LORD sees us Through the Blood of Christ than to always be seeing us through our own eyes or those of the enemy who constantly accuses us. I am saved By the Grace of GOD, and nothing else is sufficient. I choose to try to look at me the way GOD does and that is a lot more comforting than to always looking from the eyes of the enemy, who is looking for me to fall. I can’t change but GOD can change me. We should be doing the Work set before us of spreading the gospel and leave the introspect to those who delight in such things. If I am always looking at myself then I will not be able to see GOD. This make more sense to me. Thanks for the Post, it was interesting.

  2. phfs9 Says:

    Great post. Much enjoyed it.

    I just had dialogue with Al a couple of days ago about this issue “GOD knows what HE wants us to change in our lives,” which made this article all the more interesting for me to read.

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