we are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart. [2 corinthians 5:12]
weakness is generally frowned upon in our world. to admit that we have needs, struggles, insufficiencies, and overall ignorance in life, is not easily practiced, and we get stuck in a pattern of pretending. we pretend we have our stuff together, along with all the answers, and then we strive with anxiety to measure up to this ruse and hope we can do just enough to match the level of everyone else’s ruse. this cycle of self deception is detrimental not only to ourselves, as we see our mediocre attempt to stay out of trouble as our means of appearing righteous before our holy God, but to the church, as it encourages others to continue in this deception that is detrimental to their souls, causing blindness and discouragement to spread like a disease throughout the body of Christ.
instead of encouragement in the all sufficient work of Christ in a totally depraved and helpless creation, we spread the discouragement of a striving flesh that will never measure up to the false standard of perfection. or possibly worse, we spread the lie of an achievable self righteousness, using our seemingly good deeds or intentions as our ticket to holiness, and excusing the bad deeds or intentions because they are outweighed by the good, cheapening Christ’s work on the cross, believing we are not that hard to forgive. in our flesh, we all do this, to some extent, because in our flesh, we desire to be our own savior. in control of our environment, with the ability and right to call the shots and achieve our own satisfaction. and so we boast in our flesh. (matt 23)
does this sound like you? take a moment to repent.
think this doesn’t sound like you? take a moment to repent.
now that we’ve identified the lie, let’s rejoice in the truth. we bring nothing to the table. nothing in our flesh will satisfy us. God’s glory alone will satisfy us, and he’s given it to us at great cost in his all sufficient Son, Jesus Christ. he has called us, replaced our heart of stone with a heart of flesh, given us faith to believe in Jesus’ authority to forgive sins, and given us the joy of his salvation that leads to a desire to lay down our flesh and follow him. what else do we have to boast in but Christ alone? he has done it all! in the words of bob kauflin, “hallelujah! all I have is Christ.” (1 cor 1:26-31)
if we commend ourselves to God, we lie. if we commend ourselves to others, we spread destruction. when we commend Christ in us, we spread the glory of the Father to a world that ultimately longs to be satisfied in him.
today, ask the Lord to kill the lie of self sufficiency in us and in the church. ask for complete dependency on the sufficiency of Christ, with boldness to boast in his glory and not our own, because we know the fear of the Lord, our satisfaction in him.