I read several Christian blogs. And when a friend posts something on FaceBook that has been especially meaningful to them, I usually take time to read that, too. I not only want to continue to grow in my faith, I also am interested in knowing where you are in your walk with the Lord.
The last few days it seems there has been a common thread weaving through the things I’ve read. It’s the philosophy which says we need to take care of ourselves before we can care for others. A friend of mine posted a quote from a noted Christian speaker that said, “You can’t truly love others until you love yourself.”
A former student of mine, a young man who loves the Lord, posted that he is going through a rough time. Then he said, “I can do this. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Sounds right, doesn’t it? I mean he quoted Scripture and everything. Aren’t we promised that we can do anything because we have a supernatural power from God?
The prophet Zechariah is telling us what God will do when the Messiah comes. He will defeat the enemy! He will free the prisoners! He will bless them doubly! He will be their shield, their Savior, their Shepherd, their strength.
Well, friend. Messiah HAS come. His name is Jesus. And He offers those same things to those of us who are His children.
But Scripture tells us His children need to die to “self,” not strengthen it. His children need to take our eyes off ourselves and our situations, and focus on Him.
I’d like to ask the Christian speaker I quoted above, where in Scripture does it tell us that we only love others when we love ourselves? I believe the Bible tells us we truly love others when we love God.
The problem with what my young friend says has to do with the “I.” We read the verse he quoted from Philippians, and emphasize the “I.” I can do all things. I can do this. When we should be emphasizing “God.” Because it’s God who is the giver of the strength we need to face any circumstance.
I see so many defeated Christians who try to help themselves so God will help them. So many who are discouraged because they’ve tried, and prayed, and tried again, and continue to fail.
I think it’s time Christians gave up on the “I.” Scripture tells us to empty ourselves, die daily, seek God and place Him above everything else, including the “I.” There is something freeing about admitting, “I can’t,” then letting God do great and marvelous things in spite of me.
I know that I can’t love, or do, or be, or have anything worthwhile without Him being the force behind it, the giver of all good things.
Not “I” but Christ.