The Cause of Spiritual Stupidity

How is it that ye do not understand?

— St. Mark. 8:21

The care that is filling your mind at this moment, or but waiting till you lay the book aside to leap upon you—that need which is no need, is a demon sucking the spring of your life. If you say that yours is a reasonable and unavoidable care, I ask if there is something about it which you must do at this very moment. If not, then you are allowing it to usurp the place of something that is at this moment required—the greatest thing that can be required: to trust in the living God, whose will is your life. If God chooses not to give you what you think you need, it is because you only think you need it; he will give you something else, something which, though you do not think you want it, you are none the less miserable just because you do not have it. Instead of his great possessions, the young man was to have the company of Jesus, and treasure in heaven. When God refused to deliver a certain man from a sore evil, concerning which he three times besought him, unaccustomed to be denied, God gave him instead his own graciousness, consoled him in person for his pain.

I speak of course of St. Paul; but God deals with all his children after his own father-nature. No scripture is of private interpretation even for a St. Paul. It sets forth God’s way with man. If thou art not willing that God should have his way with thee, then, in the name of God, be miserable—till thy misery drive thee to the arms of the Father.

Commentary

Commentary

by Earle Canty

Why do we often see greater faith in those who have little, who struggle to have the most basic things in life, like food, water, shelter, and clothing?  The answer is quite simple.  Because we have these things, and so much more, we think we need things (and not just physical things) more than we need God and His will for our lives.  The most wealthy, most powerful, most successful people put on a great façade that all is well, when the truth is that they are miserable.  They yearn for the things that can only be found in a relationship with God, but they cannot see that the things they have blind and deafen them to the truly meaningful thing, and they go to their grave miserable.  Those who struggle to have the most basic things--food, water, shelter, and clothing--are not as often blinded and deafened by the clutter of the world.  They recognize their dependence on God, see Him in everything, and recognize that their relationship with Him is the most important thing for them.

What is an important difference between those who have much and those who have little, with regard to spirituality?  It is humility.  Humility is essential to acknowledging that God’s will is more important than the will of man.  Paul was not a humble man until he was brought to his knees by Jesus.  When the scales were removed from his eyes and he beheld the glory of the Living God, he was humbled.  For the rest of his earthly existence, he lived a life of humility, totally focused on doing the will of God.