Our society has gotten so far away from what Jesus said when he was here on earth. Where in Scripture does it say, “You’ve got to take care of yourself,” or “If you want to be healthy you have to come first”? These are lies straight from Satan’s lips. That’s the lie that got him thrown out of heaven.
Mental illness is a rampant plague, and I believe one reason is that even some Christians, have fallen for the infectious disease of “self”. People try so hard to feel good about themselves, to pull themselves up, to convince themselves they are worthy, when Scripture tells us we need to let go of “self”, admit we are filthy, helpless, needy people. Dear ones, admitting that is so freeing! The reality is we can’t be good in and of ourselves. And trying to be is making people crazy.
Jesus tells us not to exalt ourselves, not to think more highly of ourselves than we should, to come to him like a child, give up everything to follow him.
The Pharisee loudly prayed, “Boy, God. I’m glad I’m not like that guy over there. I tithe, I pray, I go to church, I don’t cheat on my wife, and people think I’m pretty awesome.”
Jesus said, “One day you’ll wish you were like that guy over there. He recognizes his sin. He’s bowed before me and repented. He’s wearing my righteousness, and what you are wearing is nothing but filthy rags.”
Don’t try to find those quotes in the Bible. Those words are mine. But if you read Luke 18, you’ll see what I’m talking about.
Here’s the truth. I am a sinner, and so are you. I am incapable of being anything other than a sinner, and so are you. I fail. I make mistakes. And when I measure myself up against a holy God, I can’t come close.
But Jesus tells me I don’t have to. He wants to be that for me. And all I need to do is admit my helpless position, recognize my sin, and ask him to forgive me. He’s already got that robe of righteousness waiting for me because he bought it with his blood. I don’t have to try to be good. He puts his own goodness on me. I don’t have to convince myself I am worthy, he makes me worthy because he is worthy.
I pray Christians will recognize Satan’s lies in counseling sessions, on TV, in the books they read, the sermons they hear, and the conversations they have with friends. I would challenge you to do a study on the word, “humble” in the Bible. Use a concordance and look up the verses that speak about humility, about humbling ourselves, and find out what God promises when we do.
“… and HE will lift you up.” (I Peter 5:6)