The god of Self

written by Haley King, Children & Family Ministries Coordinator (October 2, 2022)

The world is continually telling you to love yourself and accept who you are. It promises that loving yourself will heal you, it will give you peace, or just maybe you’ll find that self-confidence you’ve been striving for. As we watch the world's narrative play out before us, it is obvious that something is still missing. Does embracing who you are actually fix the insecurities? Has the new found ‘self love’ motto provided any type of relief for the mental health society? 

To be blunt — you don’t have what it takes to heal yourself from the rejection, addiction, or depression. Your insistence on ‘being yourself’ by choosing things that feel good in the moment will only lead you to more pain until it becomes something you can not carry on your own. We see this as mental health and suicide continue to skyrocket. Self love is unreliable, conditional, and limited. We live in the most prosperous country with the most prosperous technology but we still can’t find fulfillment. That’s because we are looking for it in the wrong place, the god of self. If self is the source of our insecurities, depressions, and anxieties it can’t possibly be the source of our fulfillment. 

“Who are we?” 

“Why are we here?”

These seem to be the questions the world is continually asking. The answer the world gives is “YOU”. It's up to you to define who you are. It’s up to you to determine your value and your truth. You are enough and don’t let anyone tell you different. I've watched as some of my closest friends have believed the lie ‘you are enough’ all on your own. I watched as they lost their self with every step towards self confidence. 

The standards of the world are constantly evolving and changing. It’s impossible to be content in a world that continues to change its standards. Once you feel like you have reached a place of satisfaction, it's no longer relevant and you're off chasing the new definition of perfection. We don't have to live in the emptiness and discontentment of the worlds standards.

So what is the solution? Where's the hope? We obviously don't have what it takes to love ourselves to wholeness. Jesus answers the questions above differently. Jesus answers “Me.”  He defines who you are. He says you are valued because you are His. He holds Truth that actually stands the test of time. 

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8) We serve a God whose reign never ends, and whose faithfulness never fails. 2 Thessalonians 3:3 tells us “But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.” We have the privilege as children of God to cast all our cares and anxieties on Him…. Because He cares! (1 Peter 5:7) No greater comfort than knowing that what you stand on is eternal. 

You alone will never be enough for you. Your desires will never be enough for you. The worlds promises of self affirmation and self empowerment will never be enough for you, but Jesus is. Don’t fall into the lie of “your truth” or the importance of “being yourself." When we do that, we justify choices that not only hurt ourself but others. We convince ourselves that as long as our choices fall into line with “who we are” then it’s a good choice. We see this idea all across the mainstream media. The world says science and biology have nothing to do with how we identify, or when life begins. When the god of self rules none of those things matter, all that does matter is what we want. 

So that leaves us with the conclusion that morality within the god of self affirmation is not based on what is right, wrong, or true, but how we feel. This is why self love is so much more appealing than religion or a relationship with your Creator. It encourages people to do what feels good or right and removes restrictions and responsibility we have to others. It values self love over sacrifice, self care over service, and self interest over selflessness. 

Christ has given us a standard of right and wrong through Scripture. Which means we aren’t ruled by the current trends of this world or by how we feel about ourselves. God’s moral standards will lead to peace. The worlds moral standards will lead you to confusion and pain. We must be submissive to God’s standards to produce any kind of good. Otherwise, you might find yourself using trendy sounding excuses to justify your sin. 

When we follow Christ, we are never at risk of ‘loosing ourselves’ because our identity is found in Christ and Him alone. God asks us to surrender control over our lives and our feelings and direct our worship towards Him instead of ourselves. This is good news. Matthew 11:28-30 says “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

What a relief that we don't have to waste our energy trying to serve or save ourselves. We have a God that has already done that for us and now we can be complete in Him. I encourage you, find yourself in Christ not in the lie of self love and affirmation the world is trying to offer you. Pray for Christ to replace your self-centered thoughts with new Christ centered ones. Hold to biblical truth, that is unchanging and infallible because Jesus is enough.