By S.C. Shaw
Me-Christianity vs God-Christianity – Is your relationship with Jesus mainly about you, or about Jesus?
This is the question we need to ask ourselves every day. Am I a “Me-Centered Christian” or a “God-Centered Christian?”
How you read the Bible will determine this answer.
What is a Me-Centered Christian?
The type of Christianity that is all about you, not God. These people love talking about God, the Bible, going to church, etc, but all these things are centered on themselves to make their life happy and comfortable. It is in fact, no Christian at all. They use the bible to make themselves feel good about their lives. They (most the time) unknowingly twist the meaning of scripture to assure what they believe instead of learning what Gods Word is saying in context. Bible verses out of context are extremely dangerous.
Example of out of context verses:
1. Jeremiah 29:11– 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 a hope and a future.
Out of context, this means: God wants me to have the things I want. He only gives me things that make me happy. Comfort and success are His desire for me. This is Self-focused.
In context, this means: God has just sent His people into exile. He tells them in verses 5-10, “Build houses, plant gardens, get married, have children, let them grow and have children.” Basically, you’re going to be here a while. 70 years to be exact. Then “I will come for you,” says God. Then you read verse 11…
Wow, how much more does that verse mean in context? It’s much deeper and all about God when reading correctly. God is saying, “Even though I’m sending you into exile, I am with you always, this is my plan for you and it’s good. I will redeem you. You have a future and a hope in Me. God-focused.
2. Philippians 4:13– I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Out of context, this means: This can mean anything you want, that is the danger. Whatever I want to do, God will bless. Self-focused.
In context, this means: Paul is writing this from prison. Paul doesn’t write this, feel empowered and kick down the prison walls because “God will give me the power.” It’s about trusting God in life’s difficulties. It is obedience to God, service to God and to others. When in God’s will, He will give you the power to follow through when you are completely weak and dependent on Him. God-focused.
These are just 2 examples. There are many more. 66 books that can and are often taken out of context.
People are reading the whole Bible out of context. Reading it with their “me” glasses on. This misses the whole point of what the Bible is about. The Bible is about God, not you. This is idolatry. That’s no small deal. “Me-Centered” Christianity is not Christianity. Idolatry is when we live for anything else that is not God. God is not a bigger version of you. True Christianity is not about what God gives us, it’s about God himself. We were created, in fact, everything was created to glorify God.
What is God-Centered Christianity?
True Christianity is focused on God in everything. Everything we do, speak and desire revolves around Him.
Examples of God-Centered Christianity:
Paul had everything the natural man would want before his walk with Christ. Now he has dedicated his life to God and he is in prison and eventually will be killed. And yet he still writes this. Paul is centered on God.
- The Apostle Paul writes, “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith, that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” Philippians 3:7-11
- King David writes, “One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord and seek him in his temple.” Psalm 27:4
David didn’t want God’s stuff or anything from God, his only desire is God himself. Is that your only desire? I admit it, it is not mine most the time. But we pray and strive for it because everything in this life and in this world is trying to rip us away from the point of life. Which is Christ Himself.
- This is the Christian Life in One Sentence. “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
All you do! From the smallest most boring things to the biggest, most wonderful things, ALL TO THE GLORY OF GOD! Soli Deo Gloria! Most of the time the way we glorify God is with the little things. When we don’t gossip when we don’t tell that lie, when we do humble ourself when we could stand up and make a fuss. The Bible is full of highlights. Most of our life will not be gestures of grandeur. So, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
Why Is This Good?
This is our purpose. From the beginning, this is what we were created and saved for. HIM!
What Does the World Need?
The world needs to see God in us. We might be the only version of Christ one might ever see. What example are you? Paul writes, “Imitate me as I imitate Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11.1. I’ll be honest, most the time I don’t want people to imitate me because I feel like they could do better. But that is our strive, to be like Christ as to lead people to Him.
What Do We Need?
Nothing we do in this life will satisfy us. Only God can. This is the chaos we see in the world right now. Every person looking for their identity and purpose while pushing away the answer. the further we get from it, the more lost we become.
How Do I Live a God-Centered Life?
- Repent. I know that is an old scary word that has nothing but bad connotations. But this is what God calls us to do. Being a Christian is not defined by someone who said a prayer once. It is defined as someone who has turned from their old ways, trusts in Christ for the rest of their life and lives to glorify Him in all things. Turn from your old life and live through the power of the Holy Spirit. You cannot be a Christian and live the same life you once lived.
- Trust in Jesus as Your Savior. Jesus is the only way to salvation. Not one way, not something you try to see if it works. But the only way. There can only be one truth, and Christ is it.
- Read the Bible With Your Eyes on God, Not on You. Read it in context. I know this takes work. But God has given us His Word. There is no new revelation. This is how cults are started. God has given us everything we need in His Word so we need to know it.
When you are reading Gods Word, ask yourself 3 questions. This will help you keep your eyes on God.
What is this saying about God?
What is God doing?
How do I respond to all God has revealed?
These are just three simple things to think about when we open our Bibles. The only thing that will change us is beholding God more and more. You can’t come from seeing God more and come back to the same person. We go to the Bible to see God more and more. There other ways that we experience God like prayer, singing, fellowship etc. But if it’s not grounded in the Bible, it’s going to be man-centered.
You Can’t Glorify God in Everything You Do If Everything You Do is to Glorify You.
Please don’t let my word be the final word on this. Pick up the Bible, read Gospel saturated books by good authors, read good commentaries on the Bible, pick up Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology”, read the 1689 London Baptist confession of faith and learn from a man’s lifetime of study and meditation on the Word of God. Most of all, trust in Jesus Christ and know what He has given us is whole, perfect and is for our good and His glory. Love you all!
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.