Friday, July 15, 2016

A Voice from the Past - Bernard of Clairvaux

We must not rank ourselves too low; and with still greater care we must see that we do not think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think, as happens when we foolishly impute to ourselves whatever good may be in us. But far more than either of these kinds of ignorance, we must hate and shun that presumption which would lead us to glory in goods not our own, knowing that they are not of ourselves but of God, and yet not fearing to rob God of the honor due unto Him.

Bernard of Clairvaux, 1090-1153, On Loving God, Chapter II, (from Calvin
College Ethereal Library, made available by Paul Halsall)

What is the right attitude toward ourselves? How can we avoid attributing the things God gave us to ourselves?


  1. Believers understand that they continue to sin. What many do not understand is that they ARE a new creation and God has already given them a new heart. The battle, I think, is to see ourselves as saints and not sinners.

    1. While I believe we are totally forgiven when we come to Christ, I also believe growth in Christ is a lifelong process. And I am convinced there dangers on either side. If we forget God is at work in us it leads to discouragement and being cynical anything in our life will ever change. If we forget we are still sinners it can lead to complacency and feeling that we have arrived. I have encountered both in my Christian experience and they both lead to mediocrity and acceptance of the status quo. I believe the right balance is believing God is at work in me but I still have a long way to go.