A political contender was recently asked a couple of important questions: who he consults with when it comes to running the country and seeking advice on foreign policy. His answer made me roll my eyes and shake my head, wondering why so many people seem to think he would be the best choice to lead an entire nation. His answer was, “I talk to myself. I consult with myself. I have a very good brain, so I give advice to myself.” What arrogance, misaligned confidence, and lack of self-awareness.
No one is an island unto him or herself. Frankly, we all need help. Many benefit from a more experienced leader giving them advice. In the Body of Christ, relationships with Jesus and others really do equal much of the “joy” in life we all long for. Consider a few thoughts today.
Jesus. You may have a good brain. Your confidence may be incredibly strong. Nonetheless, you are nothing without the One who made himself nothing. We would not exist, let alone be able to do things that will last for all of eternity without Jesus. He is the giver and sustainer of all of life (Colossians 1). During this Easter season, it would be helpful to remember that Jesus, …being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:6-11).
Others. We need each other. We wouldn’t exist without someone else. Specifically, you were birthed by someone. We say people are self-made. That’s not true. We say we can pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps. That sounds good, but is not likely. The fact is, someone, somewhere has helped us or will help us succeed in life. The Holy Spirit is our helper, always. Parents, pastors, friends, teachers, coaches, and bosses have helped us along the way forming who we have become. In fact, we were made to go through life with others.
You. Once you realize your need for Jesus and others, you are ready to be the real, authentic you. There is no need to consult you, yourself, and you. And not only is that true, if you are the only person you go through life with, there will be little potential for joy in your life. Be wise. Depend on more than yourself. This Easter, give thanks for Jesus, others, and you. Give thanks in that order. Ask the Lord to give you your JOY back.
Dr. Jim Dunn is executive director of Church Multiplication and Discipleship for The Wesleyan Church.