Self-Patience on Desiring God

I have a new little piece on Desiring God, called “Autocorrect and Indwelling Sin.” It’s experimental in a couple of ways.

(1) It’s kind of clickbait. I don’t like Christian blogging clickbait. I’m sick of it. This blog was hilarious.  And so, I don’t like bringing two concepts together in a blog just for the sake of click-worthy novelty. But I saw a genuine common theme between the unfiltered and passionate animosity we pour out against our phones when things go wrong and the self-hatred that goes, not only unchecked, but sometimes encouraged by popular conservative Christian theology.

(2) It’s not a popular perspective, but it is a needed one. Self-hatred truly has become the implicit secret password into pop Christian writing. The problem is that, gone unqualified, it gives preachers (or bloggers) carte blanche in bashing hearers (or readers) over the head with condemnation, and it gives Satan limitless resources to cut through the gospel with accusation and attack. Yes, we do have sin in us worth hating. And we should mortify it. But there is a genuine Christian concept of self-patience and self-love that doesn’t have to be jettisoned with secular conceptions of self or self-help literature. God loves you, so you can love yourself. That’s not wrong. In fact, it’s presupposed in the command to love others (Matt 22:39).

(3) It’s different from how I normally write. It’s not very organized or systematic, but I feel that it does represent a flow of thought that can guide the casual reader from intense self-hatred to the door of self-patience. In my cynicism or dating pieces, I try to almost present a lay “systematic practical theology” of these topics that is more categorically and logically organized, but the autocorrect piece is less like organizing our theological room, and more like taking a scenic walk to escape some common anxieties.

I’m extremely grateful to DG for running the piece. The people over there are insanely amazing. It’s easy to be cynical about Christians and Christian blogging, but the staff at DG really are a city on a hill in an often discouraging online environment. I’m always moved by the grace and love of the people I interact with there, and I am encouraged that they really do care about ministering to sinners – and not merely in principle. They want to get the gospel to real, struggling, sojourning, discouraged sinners like me, and maybe like you. I hope you benefit from the piece. Again, read it here.

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