May 15, 2009

Lie: It's All About ME!

God's grace is sufficient for me. Lie: It's all about me. This is a lie that we have believed ever since the Garden of Eden. This was the lie that satan used to tempt Eve with the forbidden fruit. He deceived her into thinking that it was all about her, gaining knowledge and strength for herself and not relying on the resources God had given them.

Nancy deMoss uses the Apostle Paul as her prime biblical example of a person who used the horrific circumstances in his life to magnify God's grace and power in his life. "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Cor. 12:8a-10)

Sadly, thinking that life is all about me has indoctrinated the post-modern church and their entire mission. Instead of becoming self-sacrificing in offering ourselves in worship to God, people come to to church expecting it to heal them from their traumatic childhood, boost their self-esteem, somehow make them feel better about themselves.

I had to copy this excerpt from Dr. Larry Crabb's book, Finding God, because it so clearly emphasizes what this is looking like in the church today.
Helping people to feel loved and worthwhile has become the central mission of the church. We are learning not to worship God in self-denial and costly service, but to embrace our inner child, heal our memories, overcome addictions, lift our depressions, improve our self-images, establish self-preserving boundaries, substitue self-love for self-hatred, and replae shame with an affirming acceptance of who we are.
Recovering from pain is absorbing an increasing share of the church's energy. And that is alarming...
We have been committed to relieving the pain behind our problems rather than using our pain to wrestle more passionately with the character and purpose of God. Feeling better has become more important than finding God...

I think that sums it up right there. I don't want to go on a rampage about the seeker sensitive church. But whatever happened to the church that was committed to what the Bible says about self-sacrifice? About being a body that serves? Life is hard, once again, I'm not denying that. But we were not called to run from difficult circumstances on a quest to find happiness. The Apostle Paul embraced hardships knowing that his weaknesses would bring himself and others closer to the Father. Too often our mission is to find what is most comfortable for us. I know for myself, many times what dictates a decision I make is whether or not it will bring me fulfillment or happiness or comfort. Is there something wrong with that thinking? Scripture certainly says so.

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