ES/PHIL/20 Philippians 3:2-3
“not because they do what is morally wrong, nor because they act out of malice, but … because their reliance on ‘works’ is in the end harmful both to themselves and to others” (Caird, 133). It is harmful in that such reliance is ultimately self-reliance and tends to obscure the need for God, who alone is the source of true life and goodness.
Not many people enjoy going to the doctor, but according to Reuters, in 1994, one London accountant took that to an extreme. The sixty-three-year-old man knew he needed bladder surgery but he could not overcome his fear of doctors and hospitals. So he self-reliantly did what had to be done: He tried to perform the surgery on himself. Tragically he got an infection from the self-surgery and later died. The coroner said, “Unfortunately, [his] drastic remedy went wrong. A simple operation would have solved the problem.”
Just as this man didn’t trust doctors or hospitals, many people don’t trust God. In their self-reliance, they destroy themselves.
John Donne so well said:
Wilt thou love God as he thee? then digest,
My soul, this wholesome meditation,
How God the Spirit, by angels waited on
In heaven, doth make his temple in thy breast.