© Yuri Arcurs – Fotolia.com
How well do you really know yourself?
In the introduction of John Calvin’s great work on theology (Institutes) he says that the purpose of life is to know God and to know ourselves. The two are inseparably linked. If you don’t know God, you won’t truly know yourself (you won’t even know that you are sinful!). If you do know God you will know yourself. The more we get to know God in the Scriptures, the more we will know ourselves.
In Revelation 3:17 Jesus says: “you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.” What’s the problem at the church of Laodicea? They do not realize. They do not realize their own situation. They think they are going well, but they are certainly not. They do not know themselves. They think they know themselves, but they are wrong. They are “blind” – spiritually blind to their situation. Jesus is about to spit them out of his mouth (Rev 3:16): they are about to be judged by God. But they think they don’t need anything – that they are well off and going splendidly.
It’s a scary thought, isn’t it? I think I am going well as a Christian, but all along I’m a whisker away from being spat out by Jesus… Wealth deludes. In the West we are very wealthy by the standards of past history, and compared to the rest of the world. Wealth gives us a sense of being in control, and we can become complacent, lukewarm. The problem is, we won’t even know it.
Are you going well as a Christian? How well do you really know yourself?