Thursday, October 03, 2013

Get Over Yourself?

I was reading from 2 Corinthians Chapter 5 this morning. What I read was something that didn't sound like it quite jived with what we are taught in our society. That is, we are supposed to be striving to please Christ, not ourselves. I think all Christians know this on some level, but it is really hard for us to put it into practice.

This is hard enough for Christians to understand. How strange this must seem to non-Christians who are trying to understand our motives. Why would we want to do that? Why would we not want to please ourselves? In our society we learn that we deserve certain privileges. We learn we need to look out for ourselves, take care of #1. We need to follow our own desires and be true to ourselves...go for the gold!

All of those things aren't exactly wrong. For example, we are to take care of ourselves. Our bodies are a gift and we are to feed, water and exercise them to keep them healthy. We are to get enough rest to maintain our own health. The thing is, though, we are to do all of this to please our God, not ourselves.

Mike is an example of what it looks like to deny self to please God. If Mike had his way, he would have stayed on the family farm in Northern Montana. Mike is an introvert and it was a good life there for an introvert. If he had chosen to please himself, he would still be there, spending much of his winter hours writing songs. That wouldn't have been a bad thing; the world would have been blessed with a lot more songs of substance. But, God had a different plan for Mike. Mike fought it a bit but once convinced, he put his faith into action and followed that call. He left the life he enjoyed. It was one of the hardest things he has ever done, a big sacrifice. He did it to please God, not himself. He went against who he thought he was to be who God wanted him to be.

When I read chapters like 2nd Corinthians Chapter 5 that term "get over yourself" comes to mind. I'm not saying that things such as confidence and self-respect are wrong. I'm thinking, though, that we maybe need to be reminded that such attributes come from God and are to be used to advance his work. What do you think?


Emily said...

I agree! I think to "deny self" and "take up our cross" is a hard thing to do for sure! But, the reward of it is worth it. I've recently started a Bible study of the book of Matthew. When we read the Christmas story last week, I was really blown away by the Magi. They left everything, risked their lives (by going to Herod), took an long,arduous journey, and gave extravagantly. They left their safe, comfortable lives to bow down and worship a baby (or maybe a toddler by then!). I want this year to be one of extravagant worship-- me bowed low offering all that I am and God up on high where he belongs.

Maria Rose said...

Self denial is sort of a weird idea for me as I feel like I am doing something for myself when I deny myself, when I realize that it no longer feels like self denial.

Mom said...

Hmmmm..... I see you do self-denial things all the time. Mothers do that.

Sue said...

Well said!

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