It's this unhealthy focus on self that has me bothered.
It's all about me, hence the picture--->
We mistakenly think that we have all the answers. I hate to break it to you, but you can't figure out it. No matter how much time you spend "loving yourself" or trying to "make yourself happy" you're eventually going to hit the bottom of the proverbial well.
Happiness is the wrong aim in the first place, but that's a whole different post.
The biggest lie you can believe is that you are strong enough on your own. That you can make some adjustment to your life that will ensure eternal--or even momentary--happiness/contentedness/security. That you have the answers.
Let's take a look at some of what the Bible says about self:
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (emphasis mine)
“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by His wounds you have been healed.” (emphasis mine)
1 Peter 2:24
In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived.Colossians 3:3-7
Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. (emphasis mine)
Whew. I don't know about you, but even just those few verses have me reeling! There's one more that I think will really set us straight. I quote it all the time, but it's so applicable!
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.That says if very plainly - we are to put our trust in GOD and to not rely on us or what we know, but to turn to Him in all things.
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.
I hear so many great speakers and modern thinkers advocating "self" and the "power" that we have in us to do...well, pretty much anything. It's all false! Clearly, when we trust in ourselves we are bound to fail. There is just no way that a human brain could comprehend all that it would take to figure life out.
But there is true life in Christ.
As it says above in Colossians - when we trust in Him, our life is hidden in Christ! We are alive in Christ! We are set free in Christ! We are no longer dependent on our own understanding to create happiness in ourselves. We are no longer responsible to have all the answers.
I hope as we come up to this 4th of July we will be able to taste and experience true freedom in Christ. To remember we are not bound by our own intellect or self, but rather that we are free in Him.
The minute we understand that there God is a God who loves us (1 John 4) and who died for us (John 3:16, Romans 5:10) and who desires for us to have fulfillment in Him (Romans 10:4) is the minute we are truly set free (Galatians 5).