We Are All “Under Construction”

We Are All “Under Construction”

In his excellent book The Road to Character, David Brooks raises the following questions in the final chapter:

• Toward what should I orient my life?
• Who am I and what is my nature?
• How do I mold my nature to make it gradually better day by day?
• What virtues are the most important to cultivate and what weaknesses should I fear the most?
• How can I raise my children with a true sense of who they are and a practical set of ideas about how to travel the long road to character?
– (Brooks, The Road to Character)

Asking the right questions is important in life. These are significant questions, meaningful questions. Many people ask the wrong questions in life, more shallow and superficial questions. I grow frustrated with the superficiality that permeates much of our culture. What do I mean by this? I mean that many people are unwilling or unable to get past superficial topics, surface-level stuff. Yet all of us long to go deeper, to connect on a deeper level. But this requires trust and vulnerability, and many people are not willing to be vulnerable. It requires a deep sense of humility, an admission that we are all flawed and don’t have it all together. The biblical word for this is “sin.” We are all broken to some degree – it’s a part of the human condition. Brooks says this about humility. “In the struggle against your own weakness, humility is the greatest virtue. Humility is having an accurate assessment of your own nature and your own place in the cosmos. Humility is an awareness that you are an underdog in the struggle against your own weakness. Humility is an awareness that your individual talents alone are inadequate alone to the tasks that have been assigned to you. Humility reminds you that you are not the center of the universe, but you serve a larger order.” Of course pride and ego get in the way. Wanting to be important, wanting to feel important. Wanting others to think highly of us. Pride is a very complicated topic.

Jesus echoed this sentiment in the gospels when he said, “All who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.” Maintaining a deep sense of humility is important as we journey through life. In the “Enneagram and Relationships” series on Wednesday nights, Hunter Mobley has made it clear that we all struggle with something. We all have a vice or tendency that we constantly wrestle with. It might be anger, pride, deceit, envy, greed, fear, gluttony, lust, and sloth – these challenges are real sins and must be acknowledged. These things greatly affect our relationships with others. But these behaviors do not need to define us. These are simply obstacles on the human journey that we must work to overcome. The Apostle Paul writes to Romans, “I do not understand my own actions, for I do not do what I want but I do the very thing that I hate.”

Starting Sunday, October 27th, we will begin a new sermon series called “Under Construction: God is Still at Work.” Just as Woodmont is now under construction to expand our building, we must all remember that our lives are under construction. Life is an ongoing journey toward spiritual maturity. Some are serious about the journey and others are not. Some are willing to ask the deeper questions and others are not. Inner work is not easy or simple. In this series, we will explore and wrestle with some of the core sins that we all face. If we can acknowledge that these sins are common, then we can learn to support each other and face them together. It should be reassuring that we never struggle alone. That’s the joy of living together in community.


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