We are human, and we have lots of emotions and thoughts. Only problem is that our emotions and thoughts are often controlled from ‘the world’s way of thinking’ – such as “Now I’m offended because so-and-so said that to me” or “Now I’ll do this, because everybody else is doing it” or “Now I’m jealous of my neighbor because….” It can also be a matter of self-hatred, such as “I sure am a big fat idiot – and I deserve no better” – or “I’m not good enough, and I can’t do things because others are better than I am”.
In fact, placing Jesus FIRST in your life also means letting go of what YOU think about yourself… and to let go of what the world thinks about you… to confront and give up sin, guilt, and shame…. Placing Jesus first means receiving the freedom He bought for you on the cross, rather than rejecting it. Placing Jesus first also means having permission to see yourself through Jesus’ eyes – in other words, see yourself as He sees you.
When you make an active choice to live with Jesus first in your life, you go from living in sin and darkness to becoming holy, pure, loved, and free – to living in the light. But it is often our own thoughts and feelings (and those planted by Satan) that separate us from the freedom Jesus gave us by going the way of the cross.
Jealousy because the neighbor got a new freezer – self-hatred because you have not been used to being loved by others – self-condemnation because people have never recognized what you could do – sin, because you think you can pick and choose from the Bible as you please… these are all things that delight the Devil. Because this gives fodder for division, destruction, and ‘bondage’.
There is no shame in being proud of yourself (in humility) – because being proud of being God’s creation is fine. Actually it runs counter to God’s will if you don’t love yourself… It runs counter to God’s will if you don’t bless the neighbors and their new freezer… It runs counter to God’s will if you fail to receive the freedom He purchased for you… It runs counter to God’s will to beat yourself up with condemnation, a sense of inferiority, and self-reproach, when you are living a pure life for God.
So, let me ask you one more time…. Whom have you placed first in your life? Jesus Christ… Or yourself with the thoughts, emotions, and desires that control you? If it is you, will you change it? And if so… When and how?
2 April 2018
Translated from Danish in 2019
by Lisbeth Agerskov Christensen