Original Christianity Review



RELATIONSHIP WITH YOURSELF


Listen Now

Jesus said that the 2nd greatest commandment was to: “Love your neighbor as YOURSELF.

Did you know that there are hundreds of commands in your Bible that show you how to have a RIGHTEOUS RELATIONSHIP with YOURSELF?

Yet people look to Psychiatrists, Psychologists, and Philosophers to help them shape their Inner-Beings - instead of the GOD who created them!

Every day we get ourselves up out of bed, wander into the Bathroom where we spend upwards of an hour cleansing, grooming, dressing, and looking at ourselves in the mirror. Then most of us try to jump start our internal engines with coffee or green tea, and head off to work.

Human Beings go through a daily cycle of Self-loathing, Self-satisfaction, Self-praise, Self-denial, Self-focus, Self-Aggrandizement, and Self-absorption…

Author Chuck Swindoll in his book IMPROVING YOUR SERVE points out the emphasis of various philosophies:

“Epicureanism says, ‘Be sensuous, ENJOY Yourself!’

Education says, ‘Be resourceful, EXPAND Yourself!’

Psychology says, ‘Be confident, ASSERT Yourself!’

Materialism says, ‘Be satisfied, PLEASE Yourself!’

Pride says, ‘Be superior, PROMOTE Yourself!’

Asceticism says, ‘Be lowly SUPPRESS Yourself!’

Humanism says, ‘Be capable, BELIEVE in Yourself!’

Legalism says, ‘Be pious, LIMIT Yourself!’

Philanthropy says, ‘Be generous, RELEASE Yourself!’”

By contrast, Jesus said:

If anyone desires to come after Me, let him DENY himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” (LUKE 9:23 NKJV)

FACEBOOK created a Public Forum for people to put their best FACE forward, to present a ‘like’able PERSONA to the World. FACEBOOKS’ SUCCESS stems in great measure from Man’s natural desire to promote SELF. Human Beings also have an innate desire to keep connected with loved ones – which FACEBOOK also facilitates.

The first reference to the word MYSELF in your Bible occurs as expected in the book of beginnings:

“Then YAHOVAH GOD called to Adam and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ So he said, ‘I heard your voice in the Garden & I was afraid because I was naked & I hid MYSELF.’” (GEN.3:9,10)

Human beings have been hiding and protecting THE SELF ever since…

Contrast Adam’s use of MYSELF to Abraham’s use of MYSELF:

“…Indeed now, I who am but dust & ashes have taken it upon MYSELF to speak to YAHOVAH, ‘Suppose there were 5 less than the 50 righteous; would YOU destroy all the City for lack of 5?” (GENESIS 18:27,287)

Adam hides and protects THE SELF – while Abraham humbly compares THE SELF to dust and ashes, as he seeks to intercede on behalf of others with GOD.

Most of the 29 uses of SELF in your Bible are cast in a negative light:

“Simeon & Levi are brothers; instruments of cruelty are in their dwelling place…for in their anger they slew a man, and in their SELF-WILL they hamstrung an ox. Cursed be their anger.” (GENESIS 49:5-7 NKJV)

“In his (the Wickeds’) SELF-SUFFICIENCY he will be in distress; every hand of misery will come against him.” (JOB 20:22)

“A wise man fears & departs from evil, but a fool rages & is SELF-CONFIDENT.” (PR.14:16)

“Woe to you Scribes & Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and SELF-INDULGENCE.” (MATTHEW 23:25 NKJV)

“But if you have bitter envy and SELF-SEEKING in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the Truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and SELF-SEEKING exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.” (JAMES 3:14-16)

“Now the works of the flesh are evident… SELFISH AMBITIONS…” (GALATIANS 5:20)

“These things (doctrines of men) indeed have an appearance of wisdom in SELF-IMPOSED RELIGION, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.” (COLOSSIANS 2:23 NKJV)

The Apostle Paul put this all in perspective when he was inspired to write:

“Do nothing from SELFISHNESS or empty conceit, but with humility of mind, regard one another as more important than YOURSELVES.” (PHILIPPIANS 2:3 NASB)

“…knowing this, that OUR OLD SELF was crucified with Him (Jesus, in baptism), in order that our body of Sin might be done away with, so that we no longer be slaves to Sin… Do you not know that when you present YOURSELVES to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of Sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?” (ROMANS 6:6,16 NASB)

“You were taught with regard to your former way of life, to PUT OFF YOUR OLD SELF, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires, to be made new in the attitude of your minds, and to PUT ON THE NEW SELF, CREATED TO BE LIKE GOD in true righteousness and holiness.” (EPHESIANS 4:22-24 NKJV)

“I (Paul) have been crucified with Christ; IT IS NO LONGER I WHO LIVE, but CHRIST LIVES IN ME; and THE LIFE which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of GOD, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (GALATIANS 2:20 NKJV)

Bible Texts like these shock and dismay Christians who have been fed the Health-Wealth Gospel. Like the Scribe who was told by Jesus that if he wanted Eternal Life, he should sell all that he had and follow Him, they aren’t willing to lose their greatest possession (SELF) and let Jesus direct their lives.”

But this is the most important step a person can take in developing a RIGHT RELATIONSHIP with SELF! As the Prophet Jeremiah was inspired to write:

“…It is not in Man who walks to direct his own steps.” (JEREMIAH 10:23 NKJV)

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” (PROVERBS 14:12)

Jesus set the example when He walked upon this Earth:

“Have this attitude in YOURSELVES which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of GOD, did not regard equality with GOD a thing to be grasped, BUT EMPTIED HIMSELF, TAKING THE FORM of a BOND-SERVANT, and being made in the likeness of men.” (PHILIPPIANS 2:5-7 NASB)

“My food is to DO THE WILL of HIM WHO SENT Me and TO FINISH HIS WORK.” (JOHN 4:34 NKJV)

“I (Jesus) do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; THAT THEY ALL MAY BE ONE, AS YOU FATHER ARE IN ME, AND I IN YOU.” (JOHN 17:20-21 NKJV)

But does this mean that becoming a Christian demands that we lose our IDENTITY & BEING – and become absorbed into GOD like Star Trek characters did into ‘The Borg’? No! Paul wrote:

“Now you (The Church) are the Body of Christ & members INDIVIDUALLY.” (I COR.12:27)

PERSONALITY is the sum total of one’s physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social characteristics. Human Beings don’t give up such characteristics in becoming Christians – but they do acquiesce to GOD’S SPIRIT forming and shaping their characteristics for HIS USE & GLORY! THE SELF can be Godly, or fleshly - Christians are called to be Godly.

So what commandments does GOD give us in the Old & New Testaments to form & shape our physical, mental, emotional, spiritual & social characteristics? The answer to that question helps us have a right relationship with HIM and Ourselves!

Each of us has a relationship w/ our bodies: Our ‘Inner Being’ w/ our ‘Outer Being.’ Paul wrote:

“For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord (Jesus) does the Church.” (EPHESIANS 5:29 NKJV)

“For bodily exercise profits a little, but Godliness is profitable for all things…” (I TIM.4:8)

“Flee sexual immorality. Every Sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality Sins against his own body.” (I CORINTHIANS 6:18 NKJV)

“These are the animals which you may eat, among all the animals that are on the Earth.” (LEVITICUS 11 & DEUTERONOMY 14)

“You shall not eat anything with the BLOOD…” (LEVITCUS 19:26 NKJV)

“You shall not eat anything that DIES OF ITSELF…” (DEUTERONOMY 14:21 NKJV)

“You shall not eat any FAT of Ox, or Sheep, or Goat.” (LEVITICUS 7:23 NKJV)

“You shall not make any CUTTINGS in your flesh for the dead, nor TATTOO any marks on you.” (LEVITICUS 19:28 NKJV)

“Now the effects of the corrupt nature are obvious: illicit sex, perversion, promiscuity, idolatry, drug use, hatred, rivalry, jealousy, angry outbursts, selfish ambition, conflict, factions, envy, drunkenness, wild partying & similar things. I’ve (Paul) told you in the past, and I’m telling you again that people who do these kind of things will not inherit God’s kingdom.” GAL.5:19-21 GW

Each of us has a RELATIONSHIP with our EMOTIONS as well:

“A merry heart does good like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.” (PR.17:22 NKJV)

“And everyone who competes for the prize is TEMPERATE IN ALL THINGS. Now they (competitors) do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.” (I CORINTHIANS 9:25 NKJV)

“Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the Soul & Health to the bones.” (PR.16:24)

“…Banish Anxiety from your heart…” (ECCLESIASTES 11:10 NIV)

We all have a RELATIONSHIP with our spirit and GOD’S HOLY SPIRIT:

“There is a spirit in Man & the breath of THE ALMIGHTY gives him understanding. (JOB 32:8)

“…Take heed to your spirit…” (MALACHI 2:15 NKJV)

“For HIS SPIRIT joins with our spirit to affirm that we are GOD’S children.” (ROM.8:16 NLT)

“Do not quench THE SPIRIT.” (I THESSALONIANS 5:19 NKJV)

“Therefore I (Paul) remind you to stir up THE GIFT of GOD which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For GOD has not given us a SPIRIT of fear, but of POWER, and of LOVE, and of A SOUND MIND.” (II TIMOTHY 1:6,7 NKJV)

“Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.” (I PETER 2:1-3 NKJV)

“Be diligent to present YOURSELF approved to GOD, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of Truth.” (II TIMOTHY 2:15)

“MY son, GIVE ATTENTION TO MY WORDS; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; for THEY ARE LIFE TO THOSE WHO FIND THEM, and HEALTH TO ALL THEIR FLESH.” (PROVERBS 4:20-22)

What’s your greatest possession? Your house? Your car? Your job which pays for your house and car? Is your greatest possession your mate, your kids and your extended Family? Or is your greatest possession your relationship with ALMIGHTY GOD?

Truth be told, it’s none of these for most people! Most of Humanity’s greatest possession is SELF! And most of us prove it every day. SELF-INTEREST is the primary motivation of most people in this world .

The Founding Fathers of this Nation understood this fact, and developed a government that would check and balance SELF-INTEREST for the good of all.

President George Washington wrote on the primacy of SELF-INTEREST, saying that:

A small knowledge of human nature will convince us, that,with far the greatest part of mankind, interest is the governing principle; and that, almost, every man is more or less, under its influence. Motives of public virtue may for a time, or in particular instances, actuate men to the observance of a conduct purely disinterested; but they are not of themselves sufficient to produce persevering conformity to the refined dictates and obligations of social duty. Few men are capable of making a continual sacrifice of all views of private interest , or advantage, to the common good. It is vain to exclaim against the depravity of human nature on this account ; the fact is so, the experience of every age and nation has proved it and we must in a great measure, change the constitution of man, before we can make it otherwise. No institution, not built on the presumptive truth of these maxims can succeed.

The Founding Fathers were almost all Christian men, and members of Christian denominations. These men’s understanding of Human Nature was formed and shaped by the Bible:

“…they all turn to their own way, they seek their own gain . (ISAIAH 56:11 NIV)

“For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.” (PHIL.2:21)

The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by THE SPIRIT is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to GOD; It does not submit to GOD’S Law nor can it do so.” (ROMANS 8:6,7 NIV)

“After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body…” (EPHESIANS 5:29 NIV)

“For he (Pontius Pilate) knew it was out of Self-Interest that they (Scribes & Pharisees) had handed Jesus over to them.” (MATTHEW 27:18 NIV)

“Woe to you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, butinside they are full of greed, and Self-Indulgence.” (MT.23:25 NIV)

“…the eyes of Man are never satisfied.” (PROVERBS 27:20 NIV)

What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very Self?” (LUKE 9:25 NIV)

“But if you harbor bitter envy and Selfish Ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. For where you have envy and Selfish Ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” (JAMES 3:14,15 NIV)

Like President Washington, King David understood Human Nature in himself & others all too well:

“Turn my heart toward YOUR STATUTES – and not toward Selfish gain.” (PSALM 119:36)

So what should our relationship with SELF be from our MAKER’S perspective?

“Lord, I (Jeremiah) know that people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps .” (JEREMIAH 10:23 NIV)

“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old Self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitudes of your mind; and toput on the new Self, created to be like GOD in true righteousness and holiness .” (EPHESIANS 4:22-24 NIV)

For we know that our old Self was crucified with Him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we no longer should be slaves to sin – because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.” (ROMANS 6:6,7 NIV)

“Do not lie to each other,since you have taken off your Old Selfwith its practices and have put on the New Self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” (COLOSSIANS 3:9,10 NIV)

“For THE SPIRIT GOD gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and Self- Discipline.” (II TIMOTHY 1:7 NIV)

What we need is to have the kind of relationship with SELF that Christ had with Himself:

“To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps. He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth. When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to HIM who judges justly. I PET.2:21-23

Do nothing out of Selfish Ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (PHILIPPIANS 2:3,4 NIV)

All this being said, ALMIGHTY GOD hasn’t called us to annihilate Self, but to subordinate Self to serve our CREATOR & our fellow man first and foremost – to think in terms of WE instead of ME.

Still, there are some instructions in your Bible on how to relate to yourself constructively :

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For HE HIMSELF has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (HEBREWS 13:5 NIV)

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.” (ECCLESIASTES 9:10 NIV)

For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life & the life to come.” (I TIMOTHY 4:8 NIV)

GOD will repay each person according to what they have done . To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, HE will give eternal life. But for those who are Self-seeking & who reject the truth and follow evil,there will be wrath & anger.” (ROM.2:6-8)


TEXT TONY NOW


Text the Host of ORIGINAL CHRISTIANITY with your comments, questions, and requests



LISTEN TO ORIGINAL CHRISTIANITY LIVE
Saturdays at 10 a.m. (Pacific) at kfia.com

Christian Podcasts Loomis - QR Code