Saturday, February 26, 2005

That which edifies

1CO 10:23 "Everything is permissible"--but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"--but not everything is constructive.

24 Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.
1CO 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
"There are some who wish to learn for no other reason than that they may be looked upon as learned, which is a ridiculous vanity, ...Others desire to learn that they may morally instruct others; that is love. And, lastly, there are some who wish to learn that they may be themselves edified; and that is prudence."
St Bernard of Clairvaux, France c.1145 tran. S.J. Eales
At what point do the more innocent 'extras' in life become become unedifying?

I love to play and I love to learn. etc. To some extent this is useful, especially when I can share happy times over a domino board with my family, repair a beloved toy, offer ideas on how to treat some condition, or even simply explain my kids studies to them in what I hope are more memorable & amusing ways than their textbooks offered ~ but ~ my interest in study goes beyond any practical applications. It used to be a vanity of the type, St Bernard described. I wished to be acknowledged. I've been pretty well shorn of that. The conclusions I came to on many subjects are not popular withthe world. I will never be honored now even among the 'learned' sect unless I give up my beliefs & intellectual integrity (not a chance). So... for me, research has become another kind of play. Just like making my websites, chatting with folks, or writing stories. & Just like this blog. I only worry about spending too much time on such 'extras' or displeasing God with it...and yet this doesn't feel selfish to me. why not?

I've been asking myself what my deepest motivations are now, prompted mostly by Michael Card's Scribbling in the Sand. Haven't gotten very far. I feel 'simple' to myself, very straightforward. I care a lot about other people, but it seems like such concern or 'service' as I should like to give (beyond my family) is also incidental, 'extra.' I am left with offering encouragements (largely ignored), simply making what I hope are useful suggestions (ditto) & 'playing' ~ a lot. Can you play to the glory of God? I feel like that's all I'm doing.

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