For decades I have observed the culture around me become increasingly saturated with a distorted emphasis on the “greatness of self.” The tune plays over and over again: “You’re great! You can do anything! Love yourself. Follow your own heart.” A deadly deception chokes our heart when the message becomes “It’s all about you.” Yes, the Bible teaches that we are made in God’s image and that we are capable of achieving great things. Jesus taught us to love others as we love ourselves. The Bible also teaches that our hearts are evil at the core and prone to sin. The truth is we need help. We need salvation. We need Jesus! While reading the Book of Isaiah, I see that the Lord calls His people away from sinful self-absorbed disobedience. He reminds them of who He is so they can get it straight. “This is what God the Lord says—he who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it…” (Isaiah 42:5). This verse reminds me of the miracle of birth. When you and I were born, we had a sudden infusion of the breath of life. Where did that come from? Where does our spirit—the part of us that gives us a unique personality—come from? If life was just physical, we would be no different than a rock. But God made us, and He has the right to give us His Word with its’ commands and decrees. His motive is love; He wants us to live a good fruitful life, filled with the Spirit and living in right relationship with himself and one another. So, resist the voices in our culture that try to persuade you to glorify yourself as the “all in all.” Get things straight and allow God to be God. He goes on to declare through Isaiah, “I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols” (42:8). May the day we stand before God be one of great joy, knowing that we glorified Him on this earth! Praise Him and not yourself.
Pastor Mark Boucher