“Because God no longer occupies center stage, terms like self-love, self-expression, self-confidence, and self-fulfillment, none of which graces the pages of the Scriptures, begin to dominate the church’s conversation. Meanwhile other “self” words straight from the Bible like self-surrender, self-sacrifice, self-denial, and self-control slip into disuse. Self, great big and smack dab in the middle, squeezes out the notions of a holy God, a fallen self, an undeserved gift of Grace in Jesus Christ, and a divine call on one’s whole life. When this happens, we may be preaching, we may be sharing faith, but what we are communicating (or this author would add, what we are living) is not genuine Christianity. In Christianity, the one place the self cannot be is at the center. That is the rightful place of God alone.”
-David Henderson as quoted by Paul David Tripp in A Quest for More
I have found that I am in need of constant reminder of this. At the very center of the Gospel is the idea that I am unable to help myself. It teaches that self-love is useless in making be different from what I am.
But when I realize what God has done for me in Jesus Christ, then I can take the focus off me and put it on Christ where it belongs. It is only then that the Biblical self-words can begin to describe my life.
Those that teach that I am, and should be, the center of my life, whether or not they paste a veneer of Christianity over it, continue to generate revenue from their books and conferences. We should not be surprised by this. Our first parents fell into the same trap.
It is not all about me, it is all about a Savior who came to rescue me from myself.