The famous genius and scientist Albert Einstein is quoted for having said, “The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.”
We get a glimpse of this when we look at personal faith growth & what happens inside of us. We find this dynamic in Paul’s words in Romans 7 when he points out that the law reveals our sin. Thus the closer we get to God, who is the true righteousness, and in the law revealing that righteousness we become aware of our sin. He points out that he didn't know what it was to covet until the law revealed it in him, yet it was always there.
So Einstein is right, the more we learn the more we realize that we don't know. The closer you get to God, the more the Holy Spirit reveals to you. The more it reveals to you about God, the more you realize how little you knew about God and yourself. This leads us to see that the more intimate we are with God, the more we realize how deeply broken we are.
It is here at this crossroad where we learn how differently the lost see the world to those of us in relationship with God. When you are broken and comfortable in your state you make excuses or justifications for your sin and you accept it as normal, innate or as your natural state. In doing so, we do nothing to address the sin but simply excuse it or learn to live with it.
In modern society we have come to an age where we are not comfortable with identifying any part of us as sinful. Instead we’ve developed an identity or theology where we accept our state of brokenness. In some cases we’ve come to a place where we celebrate our broken state.
A few years ago, I met a guy and in making small talk I asked him if he had any children. He in turned smiled and explained to me that he had children throughout the USA who he did not know. To my surprise, he was pretty proud of this because according to him it celebrated his sexual prowess. I didn't realize that fathering children and abandoning them was some kind of badge of virility. However, in a world of darkness void of God’s morality we see sin celebrated.
In contrast, the Christian who pursues a real relationship with Christ eventually comes to the place where sin is revealed. What I mean here is that we are all pretty aware of the big sins – murder, adultery, theft, etc., but when the Holy Spirit is at work in us it begins to shine its light into every corner of our hearts and we begin to see things in us differently.
In Christ, mutual casual sex isn’t recreational and normal but its fornication. In Christ, desiring to keep up with the neighbors isn’t a friendly competition but it's the sin of coveting. In Christ, fantasizing sexual thoughts is not a sign of normal male libido but Jesus points out its adultery.
The sins we’ve grown comfortable with over time become revealed to us from within and we are thus convicted by the Holy Spirit to repent and address them. And as we grow, we realize that regardless of how much mercy and forgiveness God offers us, we truly are not worthy of such. So the more we understand the goodness and righteousness of God, we realize how wretched and far we are from God. In contrast, a person in sin with no conviction of the Spirit often struggles with how good they supposedly are and wonder how God can be so judgmental.
So, how do we wrap up this thought? We have to be careful not to confuse humble reflection on our sinful nature as meaning “useless to God” or “unworthy to God.” We are of such worthiness that Christ died on the cross, so its not that. By the same token, we cant take pride with how spiritually mature we are, for it is not of us and to feel spiritually mature has the same level of fidelity of a 16 year old stating that they are mature for their age.
The point here is to encourage you to get closer to God. In getting closer you will see God revealed to you and you will realize how much more amazing God is than you thought. And while you will never be as righteous as God, that's not the point, the point is to reflect God in the way you love life, love yourself and love the people around you.
Just because Albert Einstein would discover how little he knew because of his studies didn't mean that it caused him to stop learning – it inspired him to learn more. In the same fashion, as you learn more about God, you will learn more about your own sin and you will learn more about how much God really loves you.