I am reading a newly published biography/collection of essays – John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine and Doxology (Reformation Trust, 2008). I have read and re-read a particular statement by Sinclair Ferguson with regard to Calvin’s view of himself and God’s kingdom.
Calvin sought, personally, to develop a balance of contempt for the present life with a deep gratitude for the blessings of God and a love and longing for the heavenly kingdom.
This is killer. As the Sonship (World Harvest) curriculum teaches us about the gospel… we only magnify the cross as we grasp the magnitude of our sin. And therefore if we minimize our sin and stuggle, we shrink the cross. SOOOO – contempt for my life and this broken world it is… contempt for my perpetual struggle to control my tongue, my rash anger, my attitude. Contempt for my struggles to listen to people, to have my heart break with/for people. Contempt for a broken world of oppression and ignoring people who hurt and disease and death and broken relationships.
Only by that contempt comes a CROSS magnified comprehension of all for which Christ came to live and die! Only by that contempt comes KINGDOM passion and desire and surrender.
Should I feel bad for myself when life does not work out the way I want, when my weaknesses in my flesh get the best of my body, mind or soul? No, not bad… just contempt, whereby I might have a contemptuous comprehension of a comprehensive cross. Amen.