Monday, November 13, 2006


How depraved am I?

You know below the surface, there lies a little badness in all of us.

How do we keep it from surfacing or how do we rid ourselves of it?

Most of the time I just battle away in an attempt to keep it all together.

Lust, anger, brooding thoughts of violence, images that flash through my mind, unhelpful things that I feed on.

My addictions, my judgemental attitude, my laziness; don’t worry I am not having a bad day. Just doing what it says on the packet - some things are better out than in. I am blessed with friends who I think understand me.

I am also committed to debunking the myth that Christian leaders are perfect, not because I want to knock them or pull them down, but I think they can put themselves under tremendous pressure to live up to something and pretend to be strong when they are weak just like everybody else. I also have a feeling that goes along the line of “If you show me yours I’ll show you mine”, meaning the more honest a leader is, the more permission he gives others to be honest. Actually I don’t want to be so arrogant as to suggest that this is just leaders, we all need to live in this attitude of openness. No fear. Don’t fear the darkness, bring it out into the light. After all, if the Bible is true and “all have sinned” why do we find it so hard to admit sin. Do we fear judgement?

I once heard a good man say “ I am not looking for holiness in people, but transparency’. I like that.

John Ortberg writes, “Each of us pretends to be healthier and kinder then we really are. We all engage in what might be called “depravity management”.” I tend to agree with him and am trying hard to manage my own depravity.

I love that line in one of Eminem’s songs, where he says something like “I am just singing about what you are all saying in your living rooms anyway”. I think it’s true; we all know how we should behave so externally we manage it, but internally there are so many hidden depths to how bad we can be.

I was reading a book of poetry by Lou Reed; at the end there is an interview he did with Hubert Selby, the writer of “The last exit to Brooklyn”. Selby talks about his mental battles; he says “ I have always felt like the battleground of the hounds of heaven and the hounds of hell, Right? you know It’s a scream looking for a mouth”

What a line - “A scream looking for a mouth” - in many ways I have at times felt like there is a scream inside me looking for a mouth. Today I am less inhibited and more likely to let that scream out. Because if we just lock into our depravity and suffer in silence, it eats us, it never gets out, we end up thinking “I am the only one who thinks this way”, we listen to our own lies, and tell ourselves “if they knew what I was really like they wouldn’t want to know me”, but that is so wrong. We need to find outlets.

The reason the dead sea is dead is because it only has inlets not outlets.

Bare your depravity with someone; it will make you feel healthier.

After all God already knows it all.


Kirk Bartha said...

I hear you.

From Karl Meninnger's book "Whatever Became of Sin?" 1973, pages 191-2

"Imagine leaders striving - not to heal the sick, not to comfort the anguished, not to feed the starving, not to terminate the waste and pollution of our resources but - "to close the morality gap"! To establish more firmly in national, international, and personal affairs the supreme importance of distinguishing right from wrong.

To end the concealment of sin under various euphemistic disguises, but to confess it and atone for it and desist from it. If the word "sin" is unacceptable to you, I challenge you to suggest a better one."

flippant said...

I once wrote a reply to the Office of the Deputy PrimeMinister on behalf of my boss an Assistant Director of a large unitary authority. I explained to the DPM that some areas within Torbay were some of the most depraved in the country - i was of course referring to the recently published indices of deprivation. stupid? moi?

PS - phew i thought I was the only one!