The kind of thinking that attempts to bear the burdens of others as Christ instead of with Christ makes a ministry with foundations not in Jesus, but in the one who has put himself/herself in Jesus’ place. Such a ministry is thinking far too highly of itself (Rom 12:3).
We are talkers. Our talking isn’t just a way we pass the time. There is much more going on with our desire to speak. Part of the reason we speak compulsively is an attempt to rule and subdue the earth, because we image a God of spoken power.
That’s when I realized that in the midst of my need, I didn’t actually want God to provide for me; I wanted Him to make me comfortable. I didn’t want enough to cover this specific need. I wanted enough that I would never have to rely on the help of others again. I said I relied on God, but I really just wanted to make ends meet on my own terms. I didn’t want other people to be involved. I wanted Him to provide in a way that I could just meet the demands I faced by myself.
We feel so incredibly anxious because the things we are pursuing—convenience, happiness and comfort—are forever fleeting and therefore naturally create instability, stress and frustration—a chasing after the wind. But godly pursuits lead to the development of a foundation able to withstand suffering, stress and struggle. So we need to test our hearts and minds to assess our pursuits.
Instead of teaching people to ignore or deny their shame, we should use it for the purpose God intended: to point to Him and our need for Him. We don’t need to sit in shame, but if we truly want to “conquer it,” we must run to the One who covers it with his blood. He is more than able to save and free us from even the darkest pits.
The problem is, these deepest desires of our hearts as parents are not in line with the reality of life God’s Word tells us about . . . that in this fallen world this child will hurt; this child will suffer; this child will eventually die.
“Your marriage is not your own. Stop treating it like it is. You WILL destroy it if you continue to act as if it belongs only to you. Not because you necessarily want to, but you can’t help yourself apart from me. If you aren’t living for Me, you are only living for yourself. At any moment in your given life, if you aren’t living to glorify Me---you are striving for your own glory. Stop. Or you will destroy everything I have given you.”
Sometimes, when I am reading material on our union with or our identity in Christ, the writer seems to be lifting up the creation above the Creator. And we must be careful that we don’t sound like a Christianized self-esteem presentation.