I stir up a lot of emotions in others when I acknowledge my own “slugness.” What this means is that I observe my faults and recognize that these faults are real character traits that I must contend with throughout my life. Admitting to my own “sluggness” disturbs people.
Some readers and friends have suggested that I am too preoccupied with negative things and should be more focused on the positive news and the joy that the Lord God is transforming me into a “new creature.” People obviously find more comfort in the latter approach and most churches exist to provide such comfort to allay unrest of heart and mind by offering the hope of “good news.”
Although humankind’s proclivity toward evil is not denied by my readers, many insist that true worshippers should not dwell on their “slugness” but should look forward and embrace the new person that the Lord God is creating within us.
In other words, my focus is wrong.
However, I feel that insisting spiritual transformation is the “enhancement of a positive state” can present an obstacle to humility. Admitting to my own “slugness” is simply streetwise religion.
Theologian Emanuel Swedenborg flat-out states that the primary thing in humility is to acknowledge that, of oneself, he or she is nothing but evil and falsity (slugness). Furthermore, true repentance is effected solely through humility—and this through the recognition and confession of the heart that of oneself, one is of such a faulty inner nature (slugness).
Therefore, humility must remain active even when we are looking forward to better things. According to Swedenborg, the angels of even the highest heaven never lose sight of their humility and imperfections. Otherwise, they would dive headlong into hell (and say bye-bye to the “new creature”).
Today, many people are so shattered by bad events and tragedies in their lives that they can easily take their eye off the ball. Instead, they will seek out people and institutions that will gladly prop them up, enhance their self-esteem and offer hope.
When the Lord was in the world and died on the cross He saved no one! Rather, He kept the door open for salvation. Self-esteem and hope must be replaced by angelic self-esteem and action. Angelic self-esteem must come from a different kind of comfort—that in sincere humility one is doing God’s will. Without such humility one cannot be in true innocence.