Updated: Mar 18
My Buba's old curio used to shelve my self-help library. One afternoon, I was Marie-Kundo-ing my house and my brain changed the words, "self improvement" to "stealth bowel movement" What? I had to laugh out loud. And then, I wrote down the words, "Psychobabble . . . psychoBABEL . . " Feeling amused, out went the books and in came the revelation:
Self - actualization vs. Jesus actualization
Past - centered therapy vs. new-life/gospel-hope centered therapy
What preoccupies our thoughts? Whatever or whoever is on the throne of our hearts is the one we worship. And it is never vacant. Let us not invoke God's jealously. He made this throne for himself.
More often than I like to admit, I find myself squeezing a half a cheek onto the edge of that seat. Unless I'm spending time reading God's word and responding through prayer, I don't often realize it!
There are many bandaids that this world offers that don't heal our wounds. God wants to heal us by giving us a stunning revelation of his cross and what it accomplished.
Entering into the labyrinth of a self-discovery journey only leads us inward towards . . . more of ourselves. God wants to pluck us out by the prideful scruffs of our necks and set our feet on the bedrock of his truth: That we are not enough, and we never will be. And this is good news, because God sent his son, Jesus, to die for all our skeletons, so that we may repent, believe and receive God's righteousness and glory and stand blameless before him at the gate of heaven.
God's process with us, by the power of the Holy Spirit, is not self-improvement, but self-death. Sanctification. Self-forgetfulness is the path to the unwavering joy laid before as we meditate on the cross and the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Peace comes from looking God-ward, not inward.
From Phillippians 3:
"Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For
his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you."