I glared at my computer. Why wasn’t this balancing? I glanced down over the screen, trying to spot something that may have been entered wrong. I was in the midst of trying to balance one of my business accounts and it just wasn’t working. Have you ever had that problem? You work and work to figure out why you are a few dollars off? Only this time it was about $65 and I was determined to figure out the discrepancy. There were only a few transactions for the whole month, so this should have been a piece of cake. And then it hit me! I was balancing the wrong account. We have two accounts that happen to have very similar balances and I had accidentally brought up the wrong account. I could have worked all day but it would never have balanced.
After I had scolded myself about making such a stupid mistake and wasting some valuable minutes, I couldn’t help but apply this to life. You see, so many of us start at the wrong point with our Christianity. We want to start with ourselves instead of with God. We come to God so He will meet our needs. We want to find our purpose. We want to experience God’s blessings. We desire for all to go well with us. We believe that God wants us to be “happy” and so we pursue happiness instead of godliness. We praise God for finding us beautiful (which I still just can’t seem to find a verse to support) and we sing songs of worship that are ME-centered instead of God-centered.
We start with the wrong account of “me” and because of it, we can never seem to balance our Christianity. I know this isn’t a popular thing to say but here it is: True Christianity is about repentance of sin, self-denial, holiness, and glorifying God alone. We need to repent of the sin that makes us unacceptable to God and come to Him with humility and a grateful heart for the gift of salvation He has graciously provided through His Son’s death and resurrection. Upon salvation, we should start living for Jesus, instead of ourselves.
John 3:30 says: He must increase, but I must decrease. Matthew 16:24 says: Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
Did you catch that? We are to decrease. We are to think less and less of ourselves the more mature we grow in Christ, so that people are seeing more and more of Christ. We are to deny ourselves our own personal desires for the sake of God’s Kingdom. For some, it may mean going to prison or dying for Christ. Others endure ruined reputations, ugly rumors, and broken relationships because of their dedication to Christ. But we are to glory in this persecution, because Christ’s purposes are supreme! (Matthew 5:11-12)
Because Christianity has become so ME-centered, it has rendered many of us useless for the sake of God’s Kingdom. We dedicate so much time to finding our personal purposes and “helping” God to bless us materially, that we aren’t even concerned about the souls of the lost. We become so wrapped up in declaring our “rights” and “personal freedoms” that we step all over weaker brothers and sisters, not caring for their fledgling walks with Christ. We rationalize our behaviors and choices, all the while hurting the Kingdom of God. We seek personal pleasure and justify it under the banner of the “freedom we have in Christ”. It is absolutely tragic.
We need to start with the right account! We need to start with God, instead of ourselves. Ironically, it is only when this happens, that we will find the joy, blessing, and peace that our souls long for.