Don’t Believe in Yourself

It seems like every Disney movie I recall had the same mantra: believe in yourself.

This is the rave of pop-psychology. Believe in yourself loud enough & long enough and you will achieve whatever you want.

This is misplaced confidence and leads to destruction.

Often, those who are most confident of themselves are the least loving, least trustworthy, least kind people I know. They have a form of courage, but lack the humility to temper the pride that leads to destruction.

If you believe in yourself, you are believing in a lie.
If you believe in yourself, you are believing in a mere mortal.
If you believe in yourself, you are believing in a sinner.
If you believe in yourself, you believe in someone who makes mistakes.
It is a mistake to believe in yourself.

So who can we trust and how can we get along if we cannot believe in ourselves.

If we will humble ourselves under God, He will lift us up … in due season.
If we cast ourselves on His mercy, He will support us and come to our aid.
If we cry out for mercy, He will direct our steps.
If we look to the King, he will be the source of our confidence.
Jesus is our authority, not ourselves.

I once met a person who called himself a king. To take on titles other than those which lower ourselves in the esteem of others is foolishness. This is why I avoid calling people pastor or missionary or apostle. Perhaps some people who use these titles indeed have been entrusted by the Lord with a measure of authority, but to use that title, it to take on more authority to oneself.

Jesus himself said we should call ourselves brothers. There are not brothers at large and a few big brothers to tell everybody like it is. NO! There is one elder brother, Jesus. There is one Shepherd, Jesus.

The word shepherd (pastor) is used once to describe what some were given to be. But nowadays, anytime a saint gets religious, they want to be a pastor. An apostle. An evangelist. A teachers. Is it not enough to be a saint. A saint is merely someone who is set apart for God. This word is used more to describe God’s people in the Bible than the word Christians.

Oh, people will clamor to call themselves “like Christ” (for this is what Christian means), but are they willing to be called like Christ? Are they willing to be cursed by the world and slandered and spit upon and to have their beard torn at and their bodies beaten? This is what it means to be a Christian.

True Christianity is not merely measured in terms of assent to propositional truth. Rather it is measured in terms of obedience in the face of great cost to the implications of the Truth.

If you cry out to the Lord Jesus in truth, will you obey him whether by living or dying?

If you believe God is your Father, will you treat all others who name the Name as your equals and fellow heirs with Christ?

If you claim to be baptized with the Holy Spirit, will you manifest the Spirit’s life in the most excellent way, in love towards your most cruel enemies?

You say you love, but do you really?

If you are not willing to rebuke a wicked sinner in the hopes of turning him to salvation, though he may also turn on you beat you into the ground while you are uttering blessings and kind words to them … do you really love?

If you are not willing to stand for the most helpless unborn baby and offer to open up your home to that child, do you really love?

If you are not willing to silence gossip with a call to kindness in speech and mercy in conversation, do you really love?

If you are not willing to wait years for those you pray for to repent, if they harden their hearts, do you really love?

These are hard questions, and I must confess, I fall far short.

Like a child trying to help his father clean up the dirt and dropping in shy of the waste bag, we often make a bigger mess than we help.

Lord, have mercy, not only on us, but on all. Lord, show so much mercy, that those who reject the knowledge of God will come to realize that they have ignored YOUR mercy and not just some abstract principle of mercy. Show so much mercy, that even the hardest of hearts will be softened at your gentle voice.

Lord, show mercy on me most especially, for I, the greatest of sinners, am most in need.

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