For those of you who don’t know, I’m a bit of a quote junky. I used to store good quotes in a text file for future reference until I realized that the future is now and I never did reference it, so that practiced stopped. Yet my affinity for interesting quotes continues. Well, today, I found a fascinating one.
“When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad – and that is my religion.”
~ Abraham Lincoln
Yes, yes, I know, it’s a very political answer from a politician. We’re all very impressed and surprised.
…or not so much.
What caught my eye was that it’s a 150 year old expression of humanism. The “religion” that Lincoln references sounds great, but is little more than a simplification of basic humanism, a reiteration of Maslow’s Hierarchy (Self-Actualization), or – as an extreme example – an earlier form of, “If it feels good, it must be good.”
“There is a way which seems right to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”
~ Proverbs 14:12
We see the world in an incomplete and often incorrect way. Much in the same way that a four year old would jump courageously from the roof with nothing but a plastic grocery sack as a parachute thinking it noble and safe until his mother frantically prevents him, we humans would careen our lives off some unseen precipice without the guiding of God’s truth in our lives. What feels good to us is often a path of certain destruction and those things that our flesh is most revolted by are often the actions that bring us closer to the heart of God through humility and obedience.
Yep, I’m having a bit of a “duh” moment today and just thought I’d share.