For those of us who have a nasty tendency for morbid self introspection, I’d simply love to recommend a short book from John Piper called “When the Darkness Doesn’t Lift”. You can obtain the free downloadable .pdf here.
Not only is this habit of constantly dwelling on ourselves and our own utter lack of sufficiency to walk the Christian walk detrimental to our growth and development as believers, but it is downright sinful. To be so utterly amazed at our own sinfulness, though helpful to a point, can throw us into a never ending slough of despond that is almost impossible to dig ourselves out of. I know this because I’ve written the book on it as it were. It’s really a catch 22. To constantly pound yourself over the noggin with your sin makes you feel all the more unworthy to come before him in prayer and bible reading and as a result, growth ceases and your walk becomes a full fledged halt.
But our utter sinfulness and total insufficiency is the point of it all, isn’t it? That He is the complete sufficiency to match our utter insufficiency and He is what the Father looks upon since we be in Christ. It’s Christianity 101 really, but for people like us, it’s thousands of miles away at times.
He is our rest. He is our sufficiency. He is our righteousness. He is our all in all. Not ourselves.
Ah the radical nature of grace.
“Feeling sorry for yourself is one of the strongest, most addictive narcotics known to man. It feels so good to feel so bad. Self-pity arises so easily, seems so plausible, and proves so hard to shake off.”
– David Powlison in the newest Journal of Biblical Counseling (Summer 2007, Vol. 25, No. 3) p. 7.