One of the great differences between following our own hearts and following Christ lies in the area of self-satisfaction.

The world seems to adore the bravado that says, “This is who I am, this is how I am, you can like it or lump it.”  The individual thus establishes a self-determined standard for behavior and character—how one is becomes the measure of how one should be. 

I think this concept is fostered from the earliest ages and reinforced through the college years.  It seems to be en vogue to not only allow but encourage children to “color outside the lines.”  By the time they’ve reached high school, this notion is being packaged as creative self-expression, and by college this spirit is idealized (even romanticized) as individual self-determination, being a free spirit, and thinking outside the box.  At the heart of all this lies a common philosophy—no one outside of me has the right to tell me how to be.

Now, of course, we are individuals, and all of us will seek and find ways to express that.  My concern here is not individuality, which is a good and healthy awareness of who I am before God who made me.  My concern is self-satisfaction, the notion that I am perfect just as God made me.  This is what leads to self-indulgence as to our own behaviors and yielding to the predilections of our personalities.  Am I pushy?  Too bad, that’s just who I am.  Am I self-absorbed—that’s your problem.  Am I haughty—well, that’s just how God made me. 

The follower of Christ lives a life of perpetual self-examination and change.  She recognizes that an objective standard of what is good exists outside the self and life is a journey of seeking that good standard.  This life is neither comfortable nor convenient.  It is a life of dying to self rather than living according to our sinful natures.  The Christ follower lives with built-in turmoil, longing to be less and less like himself and more and more like Jesus.  But in the end, he finds comfort in the knowledge that he is predestined to be conformed to the likeness of God’s Son (Rom. 8:29).  He will be satisfied.  That satisfaction will not come from self, but from Christ.

gkr1996 posted at 2011-3-2 Category: Theological