Affirmation of the Self

“Purpose Driven”, “Jesus Shaped”, “The Ten Principles for more Godly Living” …or whatever self focused program or project you can think of, have as their outcomes, the affirmation of the self.

That’s a pretty bold statement. After all, these programs/projects/mindsets have helped millions of people both within the Church and outside of the Church, right?

Maybe.  Maybe not. There is no doubt that those on the receiving end of whatever “good work” was wrought from a “Jesus shaped” view of the faith have indeed benefited from this idea of what Christianity ought be. Who can argue with giving a homeless guy the shirt off your back? That is a wonderful thing for the guy that needs a shirt. But what about the giver?  Was it such a good thing as far as he was concerned? Maybe. Maybe not.

What’s the alternative, then? How will we ever get people to act in the manner that God requires of them?

Do you think letting the Spirit move someone who has been freed by Jesus’ death and resurrection is enough?

2 Responses

  1. St Steve,

    Good point about the good work of giving the shirt off your back to a person in need. As Pr Tom Baker always likes to say we have both motivations at the same time. It would be madness to attempt to measure how much was proper and how much was improper. We are not able to judge that and should not try,

    We are presented with deeds to do on a daily basis. I think the proper response is to do them and repent of any pride we notice. Jesus died for our good deeds too. Now that would not be a popular teaching in much of Christianity would it?

    God’s Peace. †

  2. “Jesus died for our good deeds too. Now that would not be a popular teaching in much of Christianity would it?”

    No it wouldn’t, St. David…no it wouldn’t.

    Our dual motivation is testament to our dual natures, now that we’re in Christ. “All our righteous deeds are as filthy rags.” (Isaiah 64)

    To realize this fact helps keep us off the religion project .

    His Peace to you as well, St. David!

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