Self-worship is stupid

For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
— Luke 14:11

For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.
— Matthew 16:25

Thanks to Jared Wilson for his post yesterday “The Kingdom is For Those Who Know How to Die“:

[T]he real beatitudes are today the powerful scandal they were in Jesus’ day. Because the kingdom is for the hurt, the grieving, the mourning, the poor and poor in spirit, the meek, the downtrodden, the marginalized, the discarded, the weary, the torn, the broken . . .

And why? Why is that?
I believe it is because those people have a keener sense of their own need. When you are on the drug of money or power or success (or any kind of drug), you can be numb to your basic, fundamental deficiency. Why do we keep trying to fill the God-shaped hole with any god but God? Because the other gods are just ways to believe we have no needs, that we have the power inside of us. Any worship directed to anyone or anything other than God is essentially self-worship.

And those who keenly feel and know their own brokenness know self-worship is stupid.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.

— Matthew 5:3-11

The one question you need to ask yourself

It would be good if we asked ourselves whether we needed something to really make us happy or are we just hoping to fill some hole with more stuff.
It would be good if we asked ourselves whether we needed something to really make us happy or are we just hoping to fill some hole with more stuff.

I came by this by way of Neatorama. Its creator made it as an anti-adverstising statement, but I think the sticker statement holds for anything. We are a consumer society and, especially in this country, we don’t always consider the question of whether we actually need something before we get it. As a Christian, I think it speaks to me as a question of whether I am relying on myself or God to satisfy my desires. Do I trust what the Bible says in Psalm 37:4?

Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.

And what are those desires? I think, if we delight ourselves in God, they are things that please God and bring us more satisfaction in him. Delighting ourselves in God brings us more and more pleasure, not in the earthly sense, but in the sense that we are not feeling like there is a lack in our lives. Think about how many times in your life — and I speak to this out of my own experience — you’ve gotten something you really wanted bad and then found yourself feeling like it wasn’t enough not long afterward. I think we can all picture the scene of the child on Christmas Day who opens all the presents and yet by the end of the day is bored or looking for just one more gift. So, ask yourself, do you need it?