It’s never “fun” to be “called out” on something. Whether it’s something you shouldn’t have said or something in your life that shouldn’t be there, no one likes to be told he or she is wrong. We like to live with the reality that we’re pretty good people most of the time, have our priorities together for the most part, and that that’s “okay”. We don’t like to feel guilty for the things we do, or be told by other people that we’re wrong because that hurts our pride and we feel like they’re just being judgmental. I mean, “Who are they to tell ME that I’M wrong?”…even though calling Christians out on things in their lives that don’t align with Christ is out of love and not judgement. It’s called community. It’s called helping. It’s called love.
Last night I was called out on something by God through the help of a Driscoll sermon and a Piper book (I know, i know, I’m obsessssed…I’m always talking about them. Get over it 😉 )
For years I have struggled with “self-esteem issues”. Let’s just say, in short, it hasnt’ t been your run of the mill, “oh, I look fat today. boo hiss.” or “oh, i have a pimple I’m so ugly today” issues. It has cut to the core and controlled much of my thoughts and emotions and behavior and…life really. It’s sickingly pretty much become a part of me. I, thankfully, never struggled with an eating disorder, for my main obsession was my face. A face that I grew to hate. I existed with a lot self-hate. Therefore hating the image of God.
For years I have prayed the prayer (eh, or something like this) , “God, help me. Rid me of these feelings so that I won’t be so consumed with them. I want to serve you fully.”
Literally, until last night..and randomly on the road driving (5 1/2 hours gives way to lots of thinking) did I realize how WRONG this prayer is!
What is my deal??
This has always been a “Self-esteem” issue. That’s the problem right there.
Self. Self. Self. Self. Self. Self. Self. Self. Self. Self. SELF.
It took me until now to realize the ridiculousness that is SELF-esteem. It’s not a self-esteem issue. It’s a God-esteem issue. It’s not a self-worth issue. It’s a God-worth issue. It’s not a self-image issue. It’s a God-image issue.
How I’ve turned it into being all about me!
I’ve been praying for so long for God to make ME “OKAY” with ME in order for ME to THEN be able to WORSHIP HIM.
It’s like I’ve been saying, “God, make me FEEL good about myself SO THAT I can feel good about YOU.”
“God, help me feel beautiful so, that I can worship you as being beautiful to me.”
“God, make me beautiful so I don’t have to obsess over it anymore. I think THEN I’d be a much better Christian because I’d have more time to OBSESS OVER YOU!” ( oh, the realization makes me feel the vomit making it’s way up to my mouth)
I have made this all about me.
Our culture, from day one, infuses these thoughts of “self-esteem”. Make much of YOURSELF. Follow YOUR dreams. Make YOU famous. Make YOU happy. Do whatever YOU want in order for YOU to be happy. It’s all about YOU, baby! Are YOU happy? Are YOU doing what’s best for YOU?
We are told to spend our lives making much of ourselves. Being careful to make sure we feel good about ourselves because that is what is important for living a happy successful life. For if you’re not happy with yourself, you can’t be happy with those around you.
What a bunch of bull.
Friends, we are told to make much of ourselves, but, we must make much of GOD.
I mean, if you want to truly “be happy”, then make much of GOD because HE is the only and the ultimate source of true joy and true happiness.
God does not exist to make us feel good about ourselves. That is the egotistical prideful human hearts speaking. Yes, you “feel good” knowing that you are created in the image of God and that He has crowned you with glory and honor and loves you, but, that is NOT a prerequisite to loving and worshiping HIM.
I don’t worship God because He “made much of me” by deciding before the world existed that He was going to save ME and give salvation to ME and make ME feel awesome about MYSELF. That is man-centered worship. We are then worshiping ourselves.
Yes, I’m about to quote some Piper.
“…So when the love of God is preached, they hear it to mean simply that God makes much of us. They may even have a strong affection for God as long as they see him as their endorsement of their delight in being the foundation of their own happiness. If God can be seen as the enabler of their self-exaltation, they will be happy to do some God-exaltation. If God is man-centered, they are willing to be, in a sense, God-centered.” -from God is the Gospel (please read)
Going along with my incessant desires for affirmation and my struggle with pride and selfishness, I have wanted God to make much of me so that I could “better” make much of Him.
I have searched for a sudden “feeling” of contentment with myself in order to effectively serve God.
I have made my self my idol, my object of my affections, my main goal, my main hope, when God should have long taken my place.
My prayer always should have been, “God be my treasure. God be my obsession. God be my everything. Nothing else matters. Help me make much of you, to be fully satisfied in you alone. Increase as I decrease.”
Now I’m not saying that God doesn’t “make much of us”. He
” makes much of us by creating us in his image and calling this creation “Very good.” Then, after the fall, he pursues the restoration of that fallen image. But he goes beyond restoration to a new level of transformation, namely, conformity to the incarnate Son of God. “Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven” (1 Cor. 15:49). :
But, God makes much of us, TO conform us to His Son, SO THAT we can SEE His glory and worship and make much of HIM wholly and fully. It’s never really about us.
I don’t know if that made any sense (as I often question with 99.9 % of my blogs), but, it’s put a whole new awareness of my “issue” to me. It’s not about me. It never has been and it never will be. I have made a graven image of myself that I have worshiped and wanted God to HELP ME WORSHIP even more by appeasing my wishes. I have used my idol as an excuse not to worship as I should. I have worshiped creation (myself) over Creator (God).
I think that was my point.
It’s moments when you realize your extreme depravity that you are reminded and humbled by the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ.