There is no more present message on my Facebook feed from both Christians and non-Christians, then the message that the way to true wholeness and satisfaction in life is to silence our critics and love ourselves more.
This is the great message of our time.
I need to love me more. I need to accept me for who I am and then I will be content with myself.
Self-realization resulting in self-exultation will bring me joy.
And the people who are most prone to eat up and pass on this directive is women. Women with low self-esteem. Which is pretty much the entire population of women in todays culture (myself included).
But we love this message, especially when it comes dressed up in an inspirational meme. Maybe its a picture of a lady standing on the edge of a cliff with her arms in flying position. Her hair and her very flowy dress lapping in the wind. The caption says “Love yourself first, and everything else falls in line.” Can you picture it?
Maybe its the kind of thing that makes you smile. Maybe your Pinterest account is riddled with these memes of self-love.
My Facebook feed is regularly clogged with posts like this. And all of it is in an attempt to encourage. It’s a twittery world out there, in which we try to either build each other up or tear each other down in 140-characters or less.
But is any of it actually beneficial?
My dear Christian women…Is better self-esteem our greatest need?
“Heaven will not be a hall of mirrors, in which you like what you see!” ~ John Piper
Is heaven going to be a place where we focus on our feelings about ourselves? Is God refining us as women so that one day we will stand in front of a mirror and like what we see?
Or is He holding us over a fire now in order that one day when we stand in front of Him, He likes what He sees?
There is a need in the church today for women to start getting it. What I don’t mean by getting it, is getting the perfect work-out routine that will produce the best results. Or getting the best face contouring haircut. Or getting a ton of likes on that glammed up selfie.
There needs to be a revolution of women in the church who see their deep need for Christ and who put all things aside that distract us in our pursuit of His glory in our lives.
“For my name’s sake I defer my anger, for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you, that I may not cut you off. Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.” ~ Isaiah 48:9-11
How can God say this? Is He just an ego-maniac?
God is declaring His ultimate sovereignty over Israel in its affliction. And He is explaining that all of it is done in the preservation of His own name. The reason He can speak this way is because He is in fact…God. He is Holy. He is pure. He is set apart. He is the true and perfect one. The beginning and the end. And because of that, His glory is of great importance to Himself. And should be for us also.
When we believe and pass on the message of self-exultation, we lie to our friends and neighbors.
God cares about His own glory not out of ego-driven rage but out of love for His people. He knows that it is He who holds the key to salvation and righteousness for all. And so we must decrease so that He increases. All for the sake of ourselves and for the world who so desperately needs Him.
He does the saving. Not me.
And so we must give the glory where glory is due.
One day we will arise and go to Jesus. And in that heavenly place we will see His almighty and perfect face. Our satisfaction will be enjoyed not because we attained a certain volume of self-love here on earth, but because Christ first loved us. Deep in our own sin. He loved us.
May our joy in this life be made full because of that reason alone. May it carry us on into God-glorifying acts of love towards others. And may it shock us out of our navel-gazing desire for our own self-exultation.
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:31