Christianity is not Self-Help

I was listening to a sermon the other day on David and Goliath when it dawned on me that Christianity in North America has turned into self-help. The preacher didn't really say anything wrong, but he seemed to miss the point of the story. This story isn't primarily about how we can slay giants in our lives, but it is about God slaying giants for His name.
For the battle is the LORD's, and He will give you into our hand. (1 Sam. 17:47)
 When we read the Bible we often think about the practical application and how we should modify our lives accordingly. This isn't necessarily bad but far too often it ends there. For example, many people have used the phrase, "your body is a temple (1 Cor. 6:19)," as a reason to exercise and be in shape, even though that is the opposite of what it means. Let me digress for a moment. The point being made is that sexual immorality is uniquely a sin against the body, whereas being fat is not. Now, back to the task at hand. If we are honest, we get in shape for ourselves and our image not for God and His glory. This may seem like a trivial example, but it captures well the tendencies in our human nature.

It is much easier than we think to practice most of the Christian virtues for our own glory rather than God's. We like to be thought of as good people so we do good things, but "good" people go to Hell.We need to be motivated by God's greatness, awesomeness, and holiness rather than our own aggrandizement. No one will know how you are motivated, and maybe you will not either, but God does and it is Him we are trying to please.

Next time you are reading the Bible reflect on God's greatness instead of how you can improve yourself.


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