Have you ever neared the end of a self-help book only to realize that the author isn’t planning on giving you the secret to solving your problem? They run out of motivational rants and helpful tips, and ultimately leave you with an encouraging word as you close the cover. Not what you were hoping for, huh? Well, I’m here to tell you that there is an answer to all your problems. It’s simply wonder of God.
There are two types of sins. “Fruit” sins are the results of deeper “root” sins. Think about it. When you get mad and insult your little brother, there are multiple sins taking place. There’s the sin of unkindness and disrespect toward another, and then there’s the sin of pride. Without your sin of being prideful, you wouldn’t have taken the actions you did. So what kind of sins should we target when we fight against our flesh? The deepest root sins, of course. But how do we fight these sins?
Is the case of pride, we may think we should read books focused on humility or listen to speakers talk about the matter. And that’s great. But we can’t forget the real issue at hand here.
The fact is, it’s our view of God that really has the ultimate impact on our lives. If we want to walk away with changed hearts, we need to stop focusing on treating symptoms and get to the core of the problem: our view of God. The way we look at God changes everything. Let me explain. There are four connected parts of our worldview that affect our lives.
First, our view of God. Who do we see God as? This isn’t just what we say about God. It’s who we truly think God is and how that impacts us. If our view of God is correct, then our view of everything else becomes accurate.
Second, our view of ourselves. Who am I? Why am I here? Do I have value? What am I supposed to do with the life I have? Our view of God makes a huge difference in our view of ourselves. If we don’t believe He exists, then we are the ruler of our life. We can do whatever we want. Nobody is watching us. But if we believe God is the Creator of all things, that He is powerful and good, then our view of ourselves changes. We realize that we are His creation, and that we are in the hands of a good God.
Third, our view of sin. What is sin? Well, that depends on our view of God and ourselves. If God is dead and we aren’t accountable to anyone, then sin is nothing. Everything is acceptable as long as we think so. But if God is perfect and we are His, then sin is whatever action of ours goes against the holy nature of God.
Fourth, our view of salvation. When we accept that God is who He says He is in the Bible, that we are His creation, and that sin is anything against His nature, we realize that we have sinned. The Bible says that this separates us from God because He cannot tolerate sin in His presence. He is perfect. It’s part of who He is. We aren’t worthy of Him. This presents a problem. But if our worldview is correct when it comes to God, ourselves, and sin, then we should know that this is not the end! There is hope of reconciliation with God because of what Jesus did for us on the cross.
But think about it. Salvation only means something to us if we first correctly establish who God is, who we are, and what sin is. If we view God as a small God, then we end up with a distorted view of salvation and everything else. We start to think that we aren’t that bad. God isn’t that holy, so He doesn’t mind our sin, right? So I don’t need to care about salvation, because it’s only saving me from sin that isn’t that big of a deal.
Do you see how our view of God is absolutely essential to everything else in life? This is why it isn’t good enough to try “not being prideful.” We don’t need a new attitude. We don’t need checklists or motivational speeches. We need new eyes to see God for who He truly is. The higher we understand God to be, the lower we realize we are, and the more severe we realize sin is. Only then can we see just how spectacular salvation really is and how important it is that we devote our entire lives to sharing the news of this God and all that He’s done for us.
So stop focusing on fruit issues. Get to the root of it. Read your Bible today and bask in the might of God displayed there. Pray to Him and ask Him to open your eyes to how big He is. Fear Him and honor Him in your daily decisions, realizing that when you get ticked off at your coworker, you spit in the face of the One who took that very sin on His back to the cross and suffered under the full weight of His Father’s wrath, all so you could live in freedom and enjoy His splendor forever. Know God, know yourself, know your sin, and know life.
“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” – 2 Corinthians 3:18
“Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.” – Revelation 1:7
“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” – Romans 11:33-36