About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

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Poor Me

One of many things that totally destroy a Christian's witness for Jesus is a "poor me" attitude. Why would anyone want to give his life to Jesus when he sees a Christian buried in self pity.  It's not an appealing character trait that people find attractive.  It's a pathetically pitiful display of fallen humanity that does absolutely nothing to enhance your self image let alone exhibit the life of Jesus whom we are to represent to those around us. 


Jesus was right when He said that Christians are a blessed people.  "Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3).  A genuine Christian realizes that when he was without Jesus he was spiritually poverty stricken, but now with Jesus he is spiritually wealthy, and why?  It's because all of heaven's wealth of blessings belong to the Christian.  With these blessings at our disposal, why would anyone prefer to be buried in the murkiness of self pity? 


If anyone had a legitimate reason to be a "poor me person" it would have been the Apostle Paul.  After giving his life to Jesus he suffered alienation, persecution, stoning, loss of income, imprisonment, and even the loss of his life.  If you read the first chapter of his letter to the Philippians, which he penned in prison, you will see that Paul was thankful (1:3), joyful (1:4), and thought more of others than himself (1:7).  He actually viewed his imprisonment in a positive light that was advancing the gospel (1:12).  He was convinced that his imprisonment, even if it led to his execution, would provide for him his ultimate gain (1:20).  Paul was not a "poor me person," but "That was the great Apostle Paul," you might say.  "It's not me."      


How could Paul be so positive in the midst of such suffering and negativity?  Did he have some kind of advantage over the rest of us?  I agree, he met Jesus in a very miraculous and spectacular way, and, he did have an abundance of revelations that most of us have never had.  Maybe that made some difference, but beyond that, he was an ordinary man with ordinary thought processes and emotions.  


Look at what Paul wrote in Philippians 3:7 and 8.  It helps us understand how he could be so positive.  "Whatever was to my profit I now consider it a loss for the sake of Christ.  What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.  I consider them rubbish that I may gain Christ."  Nothing in this life, whether good, bad, or indifferent, meant much to Paul in comparison to knowing the Lord Jesus Christ.  It's sad to say, but this is not the mentality that motivates many western world Evangelical Christians these days.          

Evangelical Christians claim to know Jesus.  They base their salvation on that fact, but do their lives demonstrate what their tongues confess?  I wonder about that at times.  I would think that knowing the Lord Jesus would enable us to live the blessed life Jesus offers us.  This blessedness should be a visible reality.   


A "poor me mentality" puts the focus on me.  It's a form of selfishness.  Focusing our lives on Jesus instead of on ourselves will not only drive away self pity, it will enable us to be the effective witness for Jesus that we are created to be, and isn't that our mission in life as Christians?  

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