Are you just really that special? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
We live in an age of constant narcissism. Many of us are not likely to be full-blown narcissists, but many of us do think more highly of ourselves than we ought. This comes up with the love of God. In contrast to what many of us can think I read something from C.S. Lewis last night that was quite different.
I have on my kindle a book of daily C.S. Lewis writings for devotional reading. I read last night with him talking about our idea of God loving us and that we think it’s just because God places such great value on us. Lewis says that in reality, we are of no value to God. God does not need us. If all of us had never been, God would have been just fine for all eternity.
Christ did not die for us because there was some divine need on the part of God. There was not a lack in the life of God that needed to be filled. When I was in Bible College just starting in apologetics, I remember a professor teaching us in Systematic Theology that God created man because He needed someone to love. My own response in fact which I actually aired in class was that if God needed us then the smartest thing all of us could do is collectively hold God for ransom. (From that point on, whenever I raised my hand, my fellow students around me started their watches to see how long it would take before I’d be acknowledged. I think the record was nineteen minutes.)
With our egos, most of us would like to think we’re really great and important. Yet as I was at an Ash Wednesday service yesterday, I went up and got the cross put on my forehead with the message of “To dust you come from, and to dust you shall return.” You know, that’s not the message you expect to hear today in church. You expect to hear about how much God loves you and how valuable you are. I remember pausing up there for a second thinking there had to be more to say.
I sat down instead feeling very humbled.
You see, in God’s economy, He does have a great plan, but you’re not essential to it. If something happened to you, God is not going to be wringing His hands in Heaven wondering what He has to do now. He will make it just fine.
This also means that God owes nothing to you. The only guarantee you have is something He has already promised you so if you want God to do something and you’re expecting it, be sure that it’s not something He hasn’t promised. God has never promised to give you a lot of things, and that means every good thing you have in your life is a gift of grace.
This is also why thankfulness is so important. It could be we don’t have some blessings we’d like in life because we don’t take the time to celebrate the ones we have. There are many times I just get a drink from my water bottle I carry with me and give thanks I live in a place with good drinking water. A man can give thanks that he gets to enjoy sex with his wife, but does he give thanks that he gets to sleep next to her every night? If God takes something away from you, it is to be trusted. He didn’t owe you anything to begin with. God is in debt to no one. We are all in debt to Him.
So why did He send His Son for us?
It’s not because of who we are. It’s because of who He is. He is love and He loves that which He created and wants to redeem because His own glory is made manifest in redemption. We are invited to participate in that glory, which is a great privilege. Some might say this is egotistical, but it is not, for it is to be expected that the greatest good would be treated as the greatest good.
From dust you came and to dust you shall return. Until then, enjoy every blessing God has given you and give thanks. Serve with all you can because God has privileged you to get to serve Him in this time and place.
It’s not about you.
It’s about Him.