I can’t read these words and not wonder if we are living in the last days—
“But know this, in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” (2 Tim 3:1-5)
Paul wanted us to know this, to expect this, to be on guard for this in our own lives, so we can walk in truth, even when the world is not.
Notice that the very first thing he says is that men will be lovers of themselves.
And it’s easy for my heart to immediately start listing all the ways society, and even the church, elevate and celebrate a love for self.
But, before I look outward, I would be wise to look inward and ask the Lord to show me ways I love me “some me” more than I should.
Jesus told us to deny ourselves, to take up our cross, and follow Him. (Matt 16:24)
And denying self doesn’t come naturally for most of us.
From the moment I wake up until I drift off to sleep at night, I know what I like, what I want, how I feel…I’m very in-tune with myself and can readily identify how life would go well for me, me, me.
I have to intentionally grab hold of these “me thoughts” and deny myself. As much as I wish it was, denying myself, isn’t automatic for me.
But when we intentionally reset our thinking to
In that order…The world around us just seems to be more JOY-filled! (Did you see the JOY acronym?)
And not only that, if you think about it, and read the passage above (2 Tim 3:1-5), all the signs of end times behaviors that follow “lovers of themselves” would probably disappear if we didn’t love ourselves, think about ourselves, elevate ourselves, and defend ourselves so stinking much!
Take a look above and see if you don’t agree, that the first thing Paul lists, “lovers of themselves” is at the root of all the other characteristics that follow.
Let’s prayerfully ask God to help us see the ways we are too self-focused and how this elevation of self is keeping us from loving Him and others as well as we should.