SELF OBSESSION: IS IT A 21ST CENTURY DISEASE?

I pick up articles all the time that tell me that everything in life is all about "me-time."  I need to look after the number one person, which means eating healthy, exercising, reducing levels of stress, prioritizing my schedule around me, and being kind to myself. 

In other words, everything should revolve around me, my emotional health, my mental health, and my physical well being—all of these aspects of my life are in my control.  If I focus everything around myself, then I will find the answer to all my problems somewhere deep within me.  I am guaranteed relief from stress if I follow certain strategies, like breathing deeply, blowing bubbles, focusing on an object of beauty, listening to birds singing, going to the beach...and the list goes on.

But, is this really the case?  More importantly, is that what the Bible teaches?  Because it seems to me, that we often swallow the words of professionals "hook, line, and sinker," without ever questioning their true and lasting value.  Is getting your mind off your problem momentarily really going to help you become a better and more fulfilled you?  I don't think so.

I think the healing we all need on the inside is God's forgiveness, His grace, His restoration in our lives, and His transforming power.  No 'me-time' and self focusing can give us what we truly need.  We need a God who is infinitely bigger than we are, who loves us unconditionally, and who accepts us just as we are to restore us to our true selves—human beings made in His image.

  1. His grace is what you really need:  Smelling roses, going for a walk, being at the beach can all be helpful, but what we truly need is the grace of God.  2 Corinthians 12:9 says that God's grace is sufficient for us.  You see we need God's grace every moment of everyday to live our lives successfully.  We need to stop, pause, and ask God for His all sufficient grace for this day.
  2. His peace is what we really need:  No amount of 'me-time' or mind distraction or anything else for that matter, can give us the peace we really need.  Philippians 4:6-7 says that God's peace which passes our understanding will keep our hearts and our minds.  When you face traumatic circumstances and untold problems it is only God's peace that can keep your heart and your mind still.  There is Someone bigger than you or me that can help us through our day, His peace is deep and can quiet your mind and heart.
  3. His rest is what you really need:  You can blow all the bubbles you like, you can listen to the birds singing and go walking, but ultimately those little techniques will only bring temporary relief.  What we all need is the rest that Jesus offered us in Matthew 11:28 when He told us to; "Come to me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."  Jesus rest is the best kind of rest—it is absolute and complete!  You can have a confidence in Him that He holds your situation in His hand because He is in control.

So my friend, it isn't about "me" it is really about Him.  We are not number one, but we should make Jesus number one.  The answer to our problems doesn't lie within, it lies without.  The answer is in Someone who is greater, more majestic, more powerful, more able than you or I will ever be.  Instead of obsessing on ourselves lets turn our problems, anxieties, challenges, fears, concerns over to Him.  I assure you today that God really does care about you. 

I can only say after forty seven years of a life absolutely committed to Jesus I know He is the answer not "me!" 

I am and always will be,

recklessly abandoned, ruthlessly committed and in relentless pursuit of Jesus,

Carol