Discover more from Poiema
How Fresh Hells are Made
Society is a hot mess. In the first chapter of Romans, St. Paul rehearses how such tragic devolution happens, how once ‘normal’ societies are turned into 5-alarm hells. This decent into dehumanization follows a predictable pattern: ingratitude, idolatry, immorality.
For the Apostle, gratitude becomes more than a way to increase attendance for weekly testimony meetings, gratitude serves as a bulwark against the deterioration of the fraying moral fabric of the world. Paul would have us remember that our very existence is sheer gift. “In Him we live, and move, and have our being.” Our being—wispy and fragile—is predicated completely on the magnanimity of the God. God is 𝑎 𝑠𝑒; we on the other hand, are pompous skinsacks full of water and brittle bone who suck wind through our noses to survive.
Ingratitude rejects the gift by arrogantly displacing the Giver and replacing Him with Self. But by dishonoring the Giver, we degrade ourselves since our lives derive directly from His.
Ingratitude, then, becomes a diabolical sort of self-renunciation. The inevitable result is loss: If you are gift, and you reject the category of gifts, you lose yourself. When we reject existence-as-gift, we are rejecting ourselves and already embracing the abyss. When the 𝑔𝑖𝑣𝑒𝑛𝑛𝑒𝑠𝑠 of things is abandoned, what is left but that God should give us one last frightful gift—our own wanton desire to be left alone.
If the Devil could be trusted to give a straight answer, he would tell you that ingratitude is how fresh hells are made.
Please Consider Supporting Us
If you have found value in my work and writing, then this may be an opportunity for you to support my future endeavors. Given the time and resources it takes to research and write books, articles, lessons, and all the rest of it, I can’t do this work apart from your generosity.
If you would like to support our work on a monthly basis, consider doing so as one of our patrons through Patreon.
If you would like to make a one time donation, you can do so by sending it directly through PayPal.