Throughout my life, I have witnessed people who call themselves “Christian” using things other than Christ as sources of life and personal worth. They value these things so highly that an attack against these is perceived as an attack/offense against their person. I too, have at times fallen into this way of thinking and living. This has caused me to regularly examine and question what I am getting worth from and to re-focus on what I SHOULD BE getting life from.
Psalm 142:5 (NLT)
…you, O LORD…are my refuge. You are all I really want in life…
Here are just a few of the MANY artificial life sources that Christians mistakenly focus on and use:
Denominational Distinctive. I have seen “Christians” who are really consumed and concerned with their identities as Pentecostals, Baptists, Catholics, etc. Their denominational distinctive has become their source of identity and personal worth. They live to prove why their group is the right one and why/how other groups are “lacking” or “in error”.
Political ideologies. Whenever their political party loses, some folks are devastated; they view it as a personal loss. Whenever someone on TV attacks or mocks their position, they take it as a personal offense. These folks derive life from seeing political opponents lose and also from the expansion and implementation of their political agendas.
Secondary Christian Beliefs. These may include important christian teachings about the “end times”, creation (i.e. literal genesis interpretation), predestination and forms of baptism. While these are all important things to study and discuss, they should never be the focus or a “source of life”.
Extreme patriotism. I know I may be treading on thin ice with some folks on this one, so please hear me out as I cautiously explain. There is NOTHING wrong with loving our country. We are commanded by God to love everyone. The problem arises when we love our country MORE than Christ OR when we try to “serve two masters” (i.e. God and country). Christ was quite explicit that we cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24). Our christian love for others must extend BEYOND our country to the ENTIRE WORLD. The way some folks express their patriotism is almost idolatrous. Though Christ did occasionally mention his Jewish heritage, HE never went “out of his way” to FOCUS ON or express his Jewish patriotism. If anything, He went out of his way to verbally chastise the Jews and point out their arrogant and idolatrous patriotism. If we aren’t careful, our patriotism can become a form of idolatry and a form of pride as well as an artificial life source.
If you’re a true follower of Christ, you have to concede that none of these things were designed by God to give you life or give you worth. At some point EVERYTHING WILL FAIL YOU. This is a promise! The only true source of life is JESUS CHRIST. Christ came to “give life and life in abundance” (John 10:10) HE IS THE FOCUS. HE IS THE REASON. ONLY HE GIVES MEANING AND VALUE TO LIFE.
All other things only provide ARTIFICIAL LIFE. What is more, if you are receiving life from any other source, YOU HAVE MADE AN IDOL OUT OF THAT THING. An idol is ANYTHING that takes the place of God. God is the “giver of life”. We should look to HIM as our life source and NOTHING ELSE.
If you are getting all of your life and all of your worth from Christ, then nothing else really matters. Your politics can be attacked, secondary beliefs can be disproved, your denominational distinctives can be scrutinized or even ridiculed without you feeling like you personally are being attacked or discredited.
God is still on the throne and HE is still in control. Get all of your worth and all of your life from Jesus Christ.
What things am I “getting life and worth” from that I shouldn’t be? This is a question that we should ask ourselves regularly.
Psalm 68:26 (NLT)
“Praise God, all you people…praise the Lord, the source of life.”
5 Replies to “Get All of Your Worth & Life From Jesus Christ”
Gil, great article man. As people we feel the need to identify and be a part of something to be accepted, loved, needed and important. Often this comes in the form of pleasing man and identifying with man’s ideologies over Christ’s. Its a good thing to be reminded to keep Christ as the focus in all things because this world is temporal and our hope lays with Jesus.
would love to borrow this post for my blog. Do I need to ask permission from someone?
Feel free to reuse. A link back to this blog would be great. Thanks.
I will certainly do that. Love your blog by the way.
As I was reading this article, enjoying “winter break,” I thought about what gives me purpose in life. It occurred to me that as a society we choose to “stay busy.” This makes us feel fulfilled. But Jesus rebuked Martha for keeping busy when He was visiting instead of sitting at His feet as her sister Mary chose. Even church work can become an idol in our lives as we allow it to crowd out our time with our Savior. Thanks for the reminder of who, not what, should give us purpose and worth in our lives. It’s all about Him as the song say….