12 Feb Should Christians Pursue Self Improvement?
Should Christians Pursue
While it seems natural to pursue self-improvement, but what makes it complicated is the sinful nature in us. So what could be a godly self improving tendency could very easily skew to become pride or a sense of superiority over others. So should Christian look to improving ourselves?
Should Christians Pursue Self Improvement?
* It is a human tendency or need to become better
* But our sinful nature makes self-improvement a problem of pride and superiority
* Once self-improvement overtake doing God’s will, we stop improving
* In the current Era, we saw the world has fallen into a delusive lie about pursuing “self-improvement”. E.g. Self help books written in the name of Christianity.
Verses to read:
1. The danger of a self-improvement culture
- The Relationship between Pantheism and self-improvement
*Pantheism – The belief that God and the Universe is one entity.
⟹ Therefore, dealing with sin is no longer through repentance and forgiveness, but rather through introspection and personal change. Is this right?
- Self-improvement becomes another form of human religion
- Nowadays, many people associate self-improvement with the gospel
2. The Kingdom Pursuit
- The Kingdom Pursuit over Self-Improvement
*Kingdom of God – King, His will, Salvational Plan (Saving and Loving Men)⟹ Every good and perfect gift bestow upon us <James 1:17>
- Kingdom Pursuit ⟹ Fruits of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and even self-control)
⟺ Acts of sinful nature (sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like)
3. Reality Check
- <Eph 4:28-29>:
Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
* Have a good check. Are we benefiting people with our improvement?
- The “self” being improved suddenly becomes a “servant” of others
4. Managing a reality of test and competition?
- It is the sinful nature that makes a person ugly, not the test or competition
- Always be mindful of the greater good in a test or competition⟹ Need brethren living to be reminded
- If motive is right, learn the principle of <Php 4:5-7>:
* Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(1) How deluded were you about “self-improvement” before you heard this message?
(2) Where does the difficulty actually lies between Kingdom Pursuit over self-improvement?
(3) What are some areas you really hope to see yourself improved as years go by?