Saturday, March 1, 2014

A Balanced View of Self

So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them. 
(Genesis 1:27, ESV)

For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them. 
(Psalm 139:13-16, ESV)

And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him.
(Colossians 1:21-22, ESV)

For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. 
(Romans 5:10-11, ESV)

Do you ever feel yourself slipping into self-pity, and even going so far as hating yourself.  You think thoughts like, "How could anyone ever love me?!  I'm so weird, and annoying!"  Anyone?  I have...I often struggles with thoughts like this...

It's actually become quite "hip" among Christians to put ourselves down because it makes us appear humble...but really this is either what we do to mask our self-righteousness, or our self-pity.  Both of these are bad...

So...what does God have to say about this?  How can we have a balanced view of ourselves?  I think we need to look to scripture.  I think the Bible shows us both sides...

The Bible speaks of the facts that apart from salvation in Christ we are enemies of God...deserving of an eternity in Hell.  If we just focus on this all the time, this is not good...because it can cause us to slip into this self-pity...because the truth is, as Psalm 139 tells us...we are "fearfully and wonderfully made."  We were made in the image of God!  And Jesus came to earth to suffer and die for us...we may be the scum of the earth...but God has blessed us with so much that even after an eternity of singing His praise...we could never praise His adequately...this is our God.

I think to keep both of these truths...the truths of the fact that we were enemies but we are also fearfully and wonderfully made and loved by our wonderful glorious God...keeping these in balance helps us to have the right view of ourselves...

So...friends...don't become puffed up with pride...because you need God...without Him you would be hopelessly bound for hell...and friends...don't become so filled with self-hate that you withdraw from everyone in fear of judgement...for you are "fearfully and wonderfully made, and Jesus loved you enough to die for you!  These are glorious truths that must be kept in balance!

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