Monday, October 12, 2009

The Self Help Theory

 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it."  (Matthew 16:24-25)
We live in a day and age that everywhere we turn, there's a "self-help" theory. You see them all over the place, in stores, TV, the internet, and many other places. There are techniques and things such as books, videos and DVDs, websites, world famous and prominent speakers, you name it and you can put it on the list. They are all dedicated and devoted to helping us "feel good about ourselves". However most of the time we somehow never seem to get where we want to be, because many of us still struggle with self-consciousness and that sin nature, even as Christians! As Christians we must remember that our help comes from the Lord. Most churches in today’s world today (not all of them) fall for the same things or they will send you to a psychologist to help with your problem of self-confidence  They offer many ways for you to overcome your self-consciousness and your problems about yourself except the right way. We must take our burdens, problems, heartaches, and everything else to the Lord and leave them there. He has already paid the price for all that when he went to the cross, so take your burdens, depression, and all problems to the Lord and leave them there.

     Let me ask you a question and then you think about and reflect on what I said. Did Jesus ever say "feel good about yourself"? To the best of my knowledge he never said that. On the contrary, He said: “take up your cross daily, and follow me.” In other words crucify yourself! What does the word crucify mean? It means: “to subject yourself to discipline” No one that I know of had any harder life than the Apostle Paul. When Paul said: “I die daily”, he was referring to the constant strain and hardships of the life he lived. He faced problems and trouble every day of his life. {JSM Commentary} He was not only speaking of dying out to sin daily, as some teach, but also to the hardships and problems that he faced in his life. Same as you and me but much worse.

If we go around hating ourselves and even feeling condemnation over our faults and past sins, what we are really doing is focusing on our self! This gives Satan a foot hold in your life! A person once said a wise thing: “self-consciousness is not God-consciousness!” That just about says it all. God doesn't want us focused on ourselves. He wants us to be focused on Him, not our feeble perception of what we think of ourselves and what we think we ought to be. We are bought with a price. We need to be what God wants us to be.

It is  when we die to our flesh, bury the past, that the life we're living becomes the life He lives through us! If we crucify our self then there's no self to hate, there's no self to condemn or dislike! We are free to serve the Lord and allow him to do great things through us! Let me leave you with this thought:
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20) When we follow Christ it will be necessary to take up that cross because that is the path that Jesus trod. To follow Christ means not only to follow to glory, victory, and everlasting life, it also means we go through many sorrows and heartaches that accompany the journey.

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