You are special! You are beautiful! You are a winner! The teachings of this philosophy are everywhere. It is as old as the Garden of Eden and as current as yesterday’s talk show. It is not a formal religion with houses of worship but its followers are very devoted. Its adherents come from the elite class of society as well as from those who have very little. You hear its doctrines taught in the public schools, broadcasted on television ads, and preached from church pulpits. What is this philosophy? It is the dangerous doctrine of “self”. Mankind’s first temptation occurred in the Garden of Eden when the Devil tempted Eve with a feeling of deserving more than God had given her. He told her that if she ate of this forbidden fruit she would become special, more like God (Gen. 3:5). I believe that we are still eating that forbidden fruit today. It is the cult of self-esteem. The thinking that everyone is special or beautiful regardless of character or performance is a dangerous thinking. I see a whole generation weaned on this teaching that is overconfident yet underachieving. In a society where no one loses, does anyone win?
We need to counter this heady, addicting doctrine with some common sense Bible teaching. First of all we are not special as much as we are sinners (Rom. 3:23). We come into this world as lost, missing the mark of God’s righteousness. Only through the sacrifice of Christ can we ever hope to be saved and spared from wrath. Instead of special God calls us servants. We find our worth in our relationship with and our active service to Jesus Christ. Instead of saying: “I am special” God’s Word instructs us that Jesus Christ is special. He is the creator and the sustainer of the universe. He is the fullness of God and the preeminent One. One day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess to Him.
Instead of singing the songs of our worth, why not join the angels in the book of Revelation who sing: “Thou art Worthy”?
Pastor Stultz has been writing this weekly devotional for many years. In 2009, he published a compilation of devotionals in book form, also called Moments of Meditation