Words worth pondering


From Elyse Fitzpatrick’s Comforts from the Cross: Celebrating the Gospel One Day at a Time

Everyone wants to get better, to approve of herself, to have the respect of others, to be mentally “healthy,” to keep her family together, to learn to be productive…they say things like “I want to feel good about myself,” or “I know that this weakness of mine doesn’t please God, and I’m so embarassed.” But there’s a problem here for us: self-improvement isn’t a Christian construct; death and resurrection are…

God isn’t interested in self-improvement regimens. He isn’t impressed by our resolutions to do better, to get those devotions in, pass out tracts, cut down on our online time by fifteen minutes every day, or fast from the shopping channels during Lent. In fact, he isn’t impressed with us at all. He’s impressed by his Son. He’s impressed with the perfect life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus the Christ, his beloved Son. He’s impressed with his love.

Here’s the crux of the matter: you shouldn’t hope to be impressed with yourself…we should be utterly and entirely impressed with only this: Christ died and was raised. His love was so powerful that he bent under the cruel tree, rested himself upon it, submitted to the hammer and spike, swallowed his Father’s bitter wrath, relinquished his life, and then by the power of the Spirit was raised again. All this for us!

…These are the thoughts that must engage our heart. We will not be able to fight victoriously against our sins unless we fight under the banner of the gospel and thereby detach ourselves from our hedonistic plans for self-improvement…

Yes, let us march onward with the cross of Jesus, not with our desire for self-improvement, a good record, a clean conscience. Let the love of Christ control you and live no longer for yourself but rather for him who died and was raised. Live in that love and war on.

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Author: Lisa Spence

Wife, mother, Bible teacher, bibliophile, occasional blogger

7 thoughts on “Words worth pondering”

  1. This is a good read! Focus on Jesus not myself… We had Elyse as our speaker for our Woman's Retreat in March and I so enjoyed how down to earth she is…

  2. Ooh, this sounds like quite a book! I love the quotes you chose. Too often I fall into the "self-improvement" trap which is SO unimpressive to God, and even to myself. ๐Ÿ˜‰ How great that we serve a God who isn't into that! And we don't have to be either.Thanks for posting, and for giving me yet another book to add to my reading list.

  3. Zap! (That's the sound of me being convicted.)I think I might need that book…even if it's painful. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Ouch. Well said/shared. Our puny attempts to "clean" ourselves up could never even touch what only the cross can clean!

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