The Culture of Self
- Friday, September 19, 2003
The church has a role in helping the single adult to become aware and accepting of self. The goal is to become overcomers of low self-image...the church can assist the single in learning how to make a self-commitment. Whether individual or group counseling, the result of the work must be found in the principle for self-esteem.
The problem with Christians adopting this self-centered approach to identity is that it teaches the exact opposite of Scripture, so it can never please God or lead us to him for help. In contrast to the secular approach, biblical truth on self can be summed up in two points:
1. One thing we don't lack is love for ourselves. (Matthew 19:19, 2 Timothy 3:2)
2. Far from being fragile and innocent, our selves are rebellious and willful. (Romans 7:25, 12:3)
God does not portray himself in Scripture as a facilitator of our self-image goals. Rather, he is the one to whom we must give account for every selfish, sinful word and deed. A Christian single who embraces the Culture of Self is missing out. The world has promised you answers that are nothing but worthless counterfeits.
A preoccupation with Self drives us to view everything and everyone crossing our path as having meaning primarily based on the way they affect us right now. Relationships become self-serving. Possessions become our security. Our thanksgiving and worship toward God are driven by our assessment of how well he does what we want him to do (we call it "meeting our needs"). The Christian immersed in the Culture of Self is preoccupied with the temporal, while the eternal lies unappreciated and unexplored. To be trapped in Self is to lack both the joy of living in the good of God's love, and the only effective means of wrestling with the daily questions of life.
If the search for meaning and order cannot be found in the love of self, where do we look? Why not go back to where your new life began? Next time we'll begin to examine a more glorifying and biblical view of self.
- The Rich Single Life by Andrew Farmer: "The truths contained in The Rich Single Life could revolutionize your understanding of singleness. Andrew Farmer skillfully shows single Christian men and women what a rich and valuable opportunity they have. Just as importantly, he explains how to take full advantage of that opportunity. This book will help you live the single life in all the fullness of God." — Joshua Harris, author and pastor. Available from the Sovereign Grace Store.
- When People Are Big and God Is Small by Ed Welch: Pride, oversensitivity, defensiveness, avoidance of others, easy embarrassment, people pleasing, needing approval.... You'll be surprised to learn how the fear of others controls you-and what you can do about it. The sin the Bible calls "fear of man" is universal. Yet many Christians aren't even sure what it is, or why it is so serious. Find out why, and learn how to overcome it, that your fear might be reserved for the Sovereign One who loves you.
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