Monday, January 31, 2011

Ever feel like a failure?

I do. a lot.
Recently, I succumbed to self pity as I allowed my focus to shift toward my many failures. Parenting, marriage, friendships, evangelism, keeping home--all contexts where I am painfully aware of my inadequacies.

Yet, with the help of God's Spirit, I picked up something good for my soul and began to read, allowing it to sink in and shift my focus.

The following are quotes from "The Gospel Primer".

The section I read from was entitled "Liberation from self love". "Self love? I thought we were talking about self pity," you might be thinking. Well, self pity is really just an inverted form of self love and so these thoughts were indeed most helpful.

One of the leading causes of my natural tendency to self love is fear--I fear that if I do not love myself there would be no one to love me quite so well as I do.

...the gospel assures me that the love of God is infinitely superior to any love that I could ever give to myself. 'Greater love has no one than this.'

His astonishing love for me renders self absorption moot and frees me up to move on to causes and interests far greater than myself.

Preaching the gospel to myself everday reminds me of God's astounding love for me and also of His infinite worthiness to be loved by me above all else.

John 15: 13
Greater love has no one than this that one lay down his life for his friends.

Romans 8:32
He who did not spare His own Son but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?

II Corinthians 5:14,15
For the love of Christ controls us having concluded this that one died for all, therefore all died and He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.

Philippians 3:7,8
But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things in the heavens and things on the earth.

An addition to this post, a poem from John Piper:

With mercy make me free

O Jesus, take my bent away
For thinking much of me,
And kill my pride, and from this day
With mercy make me free.

O Jesus, grant the gift to see
The treasure that you are,
And as the night eclipses me,
O be my Morning Star.

And now if I should serve, or lead,
Or give, or mercy show,
O Jesus, let my love be freed,
And like a river flow.

O Jesus, be the treasure of
My heart and all I do,
And may the river of my love
Alone make much of you.

— John Piper"Using Our Gifts in Proportion to Our Faith, Part 2"(Minneapolis, Minn.: Desiring God Ministries, Nov. 7, 2004)

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