“To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.” – Confucius
I recently came across this well-known quote and found it to be wanting and incomplete. It is understandable as to what Confucius was attempting to accomplish. He was trying to offer a solution to a world wrought with chaos and evil. Starting with the world and then working backward, regressing to the core of the issue which he is diagnosing as the essence of the problem… the human heart.
Now, I agree with Confucius, in that the human heart is the essence of what is wrong with the world. Scripture confirms such…
“The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?”
However, Confucius doesn’t offer any way of dealing with the catalyst of that which is wrong with the world. He just abruptly stops the regress, assuming that we can just change course and “set our hearts right.”
But, such is not even possible…
“For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”
“The Confusion of Confucius” is the confusion of the world. Both have duped themselves into believing that man can change himself for the better. But, it’s a lie. It’s the height of arrogance. Man cannot change himself into one who reflects the character of God. As Paul said above:
“For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.”
We are each one or the other. We each either have minds that are set according to the flesh or minds that are set according to the Spirit, and there is nothing that we could ever do about it. The only one who could and did do something about it… is God (Jesus Christ).
Paul goes on…
“However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.”
Godspeed, to the brethren!
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