Knowing God

Unsinkable? Can I Really Do Life on My Own?

Rich Atkinson

At 11:35 p.m. the ship’s spotters saw it. The captain reversed the engines, but it was too late. 

The ship was on a collision course. 

Five minutes later the ship sideswiped the massive iceberg, puncturing a 300-yard section of the hull. Ice-cold water streamed into the vessel. In a little more than three hours, the unsinkable Titanic sank to the bottom of the ocean. With the death of 1,500 people, it ranks as the worst ocean disaster in history. 

The Titanic had state-of-the-art design, technology and construction. By the standards at the time, it was deemed unsinkable. But after an examination of the wreckage, the evidence showed deficiencies in its cutting-edge design. 

We Are Like a Sinking Ship  

This illustration of the Titanic is a metaphor of our lives. We too are flawed. We are often impressed with ourselves and deem ourselves as unsinkable. 

We crown ourselves king or queen, but at what cost? Not admitting that we have flaws is like the captain of the Titanic not admitting that icebergs exist. 

In reality, we are not as good as we think we are. We only think we are in control. 

And we are on a collision course with disaster. 

America’s early leaders recognized humanity’s flaws in creating our government system of checks and balances. The three branches of government aren’t perfect, but creating that system shows the need for accountability. We can’t always be trusted. 

According to Nobel Prize-winning novelist, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, we fail because of our selfishness. He says, “Since there are no capital forces above us and since I—man with a capital M—am the crowning glory of the universe, then if anyone must perish today, let it be someone else, anybody, but not I, not my precious self, or those who are close to me.” 

An early writer named Paul called this flaw, and this selfishness of man, disobedience toward God. Paul said, “And it's clear enough, isn't it, that we're sinners, every one of us, in the same sinking boat with everybody else?” (The Message, Romans 3:20).

We Base Morality on Our Own View of Right or Wrong

Author Fyodor Dostoevsky said, “If there is no God, then everything is permitted.” In essence, he’s saying that God is the source of morality; if we don’t have any standards for morality, anything goes.

It becomes a game of moral relativism or a comparison of goodness. It’s like the liar saying, “At least I’m not a thief and a murderer. I’m not as bad as so-and-so.”

We measure our goodness by our standard of measurement and our own goodness.

Looking for the Solution, Not at the Symptoms

Sin is like a baby born with toxemia because of a mother’s pregnancy complications. The baby is unable to help herself. Without immediate medical treatment, death is certain. The exchange of the old toxin-filled blood with new healthy blood is the only answer for life. We, like the baby, need help because we are unable to help ourselves.

A baby’s blue condition is a symptom of a critical medical need. Like the doctor treating the baby, he treats the problem not the symptoms. God doesn’t just focus on the symptoms of our sin—He is after the root cause. In our case, the root is at our very core.

We need much more than just a fix. We are on a sinking ship.

A solution for surviving a sinking ship

©1972-2024 Cru Singapore. All Rights Reserved.