A healthy self-concept… what does it look like by Biblical standards?

man looking in a mirrorA healthy self-concept: It’s a big deal to those who work in the behavioral sciences. But it’s equally important in education, business, and a host of other areas as well! It can be the difference between success and failure! The broader culture has a diversity of opinions of what a healthy self-concept looks like. Sometimes those who espouse what is “healthy” value what is pretty assertive – even arrogant and abrasive at times. It’s linked to appearance, image-making, fashion, education, learned skills, and other self-improvement techniques… Some aspects of that are good, some rather artificial, others can even a bit offensive to those around them.

I happen to be one of those who believes the Bible provides the best answer to self-concept! A biblical expose of what constitutes a healthy self-concept is beyond today’s post in “coffee with the Lord” and probably is the worthy subject of an extended sermon series – even a biblically based book. This morning, however, in my Bible reading I reflected on an important passage in the Bible that gives some wonderful insights on the subject… Romans 12:3-9.

Here are a few of my reflections from that passage regarding what constitutes a healthy self-concept by biblical standards…

  • A healthy self-concept is not characterized by arrogance.
  • Neither is it inappropriately low and self-deprecating.
  • It is an accurate estimate of oneself in relationship to a loving God and others.
  • A healthy self-concept is informed by faith – believing what one can become with God’s help and provision.
  • It expresses a proper recognition of it’s role in relationship to others around them.
  • And finally, it is determined to use its God-given gifts for the common good!

The passage? Check it out for yourself… Here it is: “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.“ (Romans 12:3–8 ESV)

Gotta tell you, as a Christian I want my self-concept to be expressive of those foundational values, don’t you?

Enduring the bloviating of a blowhard or listening to the voice of the Almighty God?

Blah blah blah.jpgYou’ve seen them, experienced them, and had to listen to them – hapless blowhards who think they have the answer to everything! Compare them to Almighty God, all powerful, all knowing, everywhere present who truly knows the end from the beginning and whose purposes will ultimately be fulfilled!
This morning during my time of “coffee with the Lord” several passages I read intersected around this theme… Here they are:

In Job 26 Job responds with stinging sarcasm to some “blowhards” who believe they have all the answers to his painful experiences… “Then Job answered and said: ‘How you have helped him who has no power! How you have saved the arm that has no strength! How you have counseled him who has no wisdom, and plentifully declared sound knowledge! With whose help have you uttered words, and whose breath has come out from you?’ (Job 26:1-4)

Then Job sets in stark contrast the Almighty God who does know everything and whose purposes never fail…

“He [God] stretches out the north over the void and hangs the earth on nothing. He binds up the waters in his thick clouds, and the cloud is not split open under them. He covers the face of the full moon and spreads over it his cloud. He has inscribed a circle on the face of the waters at the boundary between light and darkness. The pillars of heaven tremble and are astounded at his rebuke. By his power he stilled the sea… By his wind the heavens were made fair… Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways, and how small a whisper do we hear of him! But the thunder of his power who can understand?” (From Job 26:7–14)

And to that was added another passage of praise and worship that was part of my Bible reading this morning – an appropriate response to the God Job described…

“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has ever been his counselor? Who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid? For from him and through him and to him are all things! To him be glory forever! Amen!” (From Romans 11:33–36)

So when you’re exposed to the self-righteous, arrogant, bloviating of a “blowhard” who thinks he or she has all the answers to your situation; step away – excuse yourself – and find a quiet place and listen to THE VOICE OF GOD in His word and within your spirit… You’ll be glad you did!

An appropriate, godly response to the “RHA” recently passed by the state of New York

god is pro-lifeAnyone who knows me knows I have NEVER done this before, but I unapologetically post the call to prayer given by Doug Clay, General Superintendent for the Assemblies of God, as an appropriate, godly response to the recent Reproductive Health Act by the State of New York:

“Like so many, I am deeply concerned by passage of the R eproductive Health Act (RHA) by the State of New York — especially on the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

“The Assemblies of God values life from conception to death. We believe that humans are the highest form of God’s creative activity and the focus of His love. We view the destruction of a human life created in the image of God, even in the womb, as an act of evil. Especially heinous in the RHA are provisions that extend the scope of abortion to later terms and the removal of the requirement for a physician to be present.

“As a parent and grandparent, I’m grieved for the precious, innocent unborn lives that will be lost as a result of this legislation. As a Christian, my spirit is grieved to see the moral degradation this represents in our society.

“Will you join me in prayer during this vital juncture in our nation’s history?

“Pray for a spiritual awakening in our nation.
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

“Pray for expectant mothers who may be facing horrific circumstances. Pray that God will bring peace to the anxieties and fears they may be facing. Pray that the Church will rise up to address the needs young mothers are facing.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. (Psalm 147:3)

“Pray that America will repent of injustice on behalf of the most vulnerable among us.
But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! (Amos 5:24)

“Pray that abortionists will come to know Christ as Savior.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

“Pray that abortion facilities will close.
He thwarts the plans of the crafty, so that their hands achieve no success. (Job 5:12)

“Pray that the hearts of lawmakers and judges will be awakened to the value of human life from conception to death.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36:26)

“Pray that Christians can be an example of love and peace.
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:7-8)

“Pray for churches to continue providing life-sustaining alternatives, including foster or adoptive care.
Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. (James 1:27, New Living Translation)

“Pray for those considering abortions to have Divine encounters that will give them hope for their future.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

“Pray for women who have been the victims of abortionists, that they will experience spiritual, emotional, and physical healing.
The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. (Psalm 145:8)

“As general superintendent, I’m asking you to join me in prayer during this critical hour. The strength of our demonstrations and protests may be ignored, but “the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16).”

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