As Christians we are familiar with the Holy Trinity. There is one God: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!” (Deuteronomy 6:4) But He exists in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. While the scriptures do not use the word – trinity – in referring to the Godhead’s manifestation in three persons, there are numerous references to it. Rather than address them here, if you have an interest and perhaps questions about our triune God, I urge you to do a topical study on the subject. It is quite fascinating to see just how many verses give witness to the “three in one” nature of our God.
We see another trinity in scripture as well – the Unholy Trinity. In the end times, known as the tribulation period, Satan, in the role of the father, will indwell the antichrist (obviously in the role of the son). Like Christ, the antichrist will only do the will of the father. The false prophet, in the role of the holy spirit, will draw and work to convince people to follow and worship the antichrist. This unholy union will eventually be defeated and destroyed and destined to eternal damnation.
There is a third trinity and we knock heads with it every day. There is Satan – “the accuser of the brethren”1, our adversary who “walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour”2 – who uses the world system which “lies under the sway of the wicked one”3 to entice and deceive our flesh away from God in an endless myriad of ways. The devil, the world, the flesh = big problems for us.
And now we come to another trinity, more so a tributary off the third, but still, just a real bug-a-boo in life. The terrible tri-unity of – me, myself and I. Or as the pastor described it last Sunday, “Me, myself and I, the three stooges.” (Great line, by the way). Is there anything more frustrating when sincerely pursuing the Christian walk than dealing with the self-absorbed me, me, me’s? Gosh, I can barely decide who I want to strangle first, the self-loving it’s all about – me; the insatiable indulgent – myself; or the dastardly throne seeking infuriating – I! Always babbling in my ear. Always telling me to turn left when I should have turned right. Can you relate, brethren? Grrrr! Me, myself and I. Stooges, indeed.
Francois de Fenelon speaks to this in his book, The Seeking Heart: “Don’t listen to your self-nature. Self-love whispers in one ear and God whispers in the other. The first is restless, bold, eager, and reckless; the other is simple, peaceful, and speaks but a few words in a mild gentle voice. As soon as you listen to the loud voice of self you will not hear the soft tones of holy love. Each speaks only of one thing. Self-love speaks only of self – it never gets enough attention. Self-love talks of being well thought of. The self despairs of everything except downright flattery.
God’s love, on the other hand, whispers that self should be forgotten – counted as nothing so that God might be all. God wants to completely fill you and unite Himself to you. Let the vain, complaining babble of self-love be silenced so that in the stillness of the heart you may listen to the love of God.
While you live on earth you can understand only in part. The self-love, which is the source of your faults, is also what hides your faults. Self-love must be rooted out of you so that God can reign within you without opposition.
The light of God will show you what you are really like, and will also heal you of your sins. Until you see yourself in God’s pure light, you really don’t know yourself. You really rely on yourself more than you think.
God’s love will cause you to see clearly that He loves you without partiality and without flattery. This is how you must see yourself, as well as your neighbor.”
We must listen to the right voice. We must recognize that self invariably points inward, it is all about me. God points us ever outward, it is all about Him and others. The vertical, then the horizontal. God wants to completely fill us and unite Himself to us. We must stay in His light and in His love – even when doing so makes us uncomfortably aware of what we are really like. He can heal the whatever’s if we do not hold on to the whatever’s.
I know that is the way to go, and go by that way I will – although I still have a real hankering for strangling me, myself and I. I just can’t decide who to choke first – Moe, Larry or Curly.
1] – Revelation 12:10 2] – 1Peter 5:8 3] – 1John 5:19