The Perils Of Self-Love

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All That We Have Must Be Offered And Consecrated To God.

O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. Ps. 95:6.

As we are assured that God is our Creator, Preserver, and loving Father, to whom can we more reasonably pay our love, honor, duty, and service, than to Him? Whom shall we rather implore and pray to, whom shall we rather praise and glorify, than Him that made us? Whom shall we rather trust? In whom shall we rather hope? Whom shall we rather adore? In whom shall we rather rejoice and be happy? Shall we not love Him, who hath created us in His own image? Shall we not honor Him, who has exalted us above all creatures? Shall we not devote ourselves entirely to Him, who has given himself entirely to us? Who created us for the end eternal that we might live, abide, and rejoice with Him forever? Shall we not love and honor Him, who has adopted us as His children?

Think, therefore, and consider with yourself that as God has given you a rational soul, so you ought to consecrate all the powers and faculties of it to His honor and service. He has given you the ability to love: therefore love Him; He has given you understanding: endeavor to know Him; He has given you fear: therefore fear Him; the power of honoring: therefore honor Him; the gift of prayer: therefore pray to Him; of praise and thanksgiving: therefore praise His name. He has given you the power of believing, hoping, and trusting: therefore depend, and trust, and hope in Him; likewise of rejoicing: therefore rejoice and be glad in Him. Lastly, as all things are in Him, and He has an infinite power of doing all things, consider this, that if you rest and rejoice in Him alone, you shall in Him possess all things.

And hence arises the true and genuine worship of God. He that loves Him, honors Him; he that loves Him not, affronts Him. So likewise he that fears Him, honors Him; he that fears not, despises Him. And all the other vices and virtues are of the same nature.

By obedience, God is honored, and He is dishonored by disobedience.

From all this it appears, that there is nothing better, more honorable, or more profitable for man, than to honor God; and nothing more base and abominable than to dishonor him with disobedience and love of self.

For as self-love aims at nothing and delights in nothing but honors, riches, sensual and worldly pleasures, all which are temporal and subject to a thousand casualties; therefore the man whose heart is set upon them and himself, cannot be set on God. Such a man will be always fearful, apprehensive, and jealous of every situation that may deprive him of his happiness; so that his joys are never solid or lasting, but false and perishing, mixed with fears and cares, and ending in disappointment and sorrow. For as the seed is, such is the fruit.

For as divine worship and love brings us nearer and nearer to God; so carnal pleasures and self-love carries us farther and farther from God and our true potential in Him.

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