Gen 3 (The Biblical account of the fall of man)
Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from [a]any tree of the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3 but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” 4 The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! 5 For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.
The reason I have sited the Biblical account of the fall of man above is because I want to show you that in the fall, man became a law to himself, he became a god to himself, from the fall the chief end of man is to serve himself and he does so through the most devious means because from the fall there is no truth in him and so man can only pursue his own selfish interests through the most devious means. Unlike the Triune God Almighty, who radiates righteousness in pursuing His interest, man does not radiate righteousness but exudes wickedness in the chasing after his own interest because the truth is man is not God… the Triune God Almighty alone is God. Men & angels were created to serve God and it so happens that it is in our best interest to put God before ourselves (Mat 6:33).
24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. 26 If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honour him.
4 Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
The problem with loving and believing in yourself is that people of the world don’t understand that this is not the solution but root of the problem. We were made in the image of God, as human beings we were made to carry His own image/nature as if it were our own. This gracious privilege has only been given to mankind, even God’s holy angels were not blessed with this purpose. In this unbelieving world, it so happens that people are spurred into this believing & loving yourself nonsense when they are spurned by their peers. So, these people are then moved to prove themselves and the means of doing that is by believing in themselves and loving themselves but even if one should succeed in the material world while remaining spiritually empty, what use is it to gain the whole world and lose your soul (Mark 8:36)? That spiritual fulfillment can only be found in relationship with God, which is only possible through Jesus Christ. To console a person by urging him or her to believe and love himself will only light up his/her eyes for moment just as it did for Eve who was deceived by Satan into believing that she was the chief end of her own being (Gen 3:6) and we know how that went for her because we are still bearing the consequences of the fall of Adam.
Jeremiah 9 (Stressing on put God first)
23 Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; 24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.
Luke 17 (Stressing on the fact that God is our King)
7 “Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? 8 Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? 9 Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 10 So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’”
From the fall, man has this perspective of God that he will only believe in God if God will prove himself to him through some miracles & the reason man feels this way is because from the fall man foolishly believes he is a god to himself and even Almighty God must serve his interests, for a man to believe in God Almighty. When the people of the world are rejected by their peers, they do not turn to God instead they turn to people who are blind guides just like themselves, who fill them in how special they are, make them feel proud of themselves and in doing so teach them to love and believe in themselves. However, if you were to read Jeremiah 9:23-24 you would understand that for a man to boast in his wealth or strength or intelligence is shallow and cheap but for a man to boast that He knows God revealed to him in Christ, is to truly lead a rich and fulfilling life. From the fall of Adam, we are by nature sinners, we naturally hate God because we naturally love sin, that’s how corrupt we are. What we need to focus on is how great, loving and merciful God is, that for a bunch of worthless wretches who hate Him, He offered up His only Son, that by His blood we would have atonement for our sins. He certainly did not do this because we are special but because He is a great, merciful and loving who ransomed a people for Himself from the damned family of Adam, saving us from our sin. Take a look at Luke 17 mentioned above, this does not fit the world’s perspective of God in anyway because it shows we were made to serve God and not the other way around. To give you a gist of what your conduct should be before God, I would like you to consider yourself as citizen of a country that is ruled by a monarchy, the respect, awe and fear you would have for your king in that land is the honour, respect and fear we are to have of God & it is in our own best interest to put His interest before our own.
29 Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, 30 but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last, first.”
45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, 46 and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.
The Bible teaches us that there are two great commandments in Mat 22:36-40, the first is to love God with all the strength our being can muster and the second is to love our neighbour as ourselves. However, for the person who learns to love and believe in himself, he loves his neighbour only in a manner where it will serve himself in return and so this person loves out of covetousness, honouring and pleasing only those who are in a position to serve his purpose because the man of the world from the fall, is a god to himself and in learning to love and believe in himself he excuses every sin, simply because that is the only way he can continue serving his own interest. The Man of God on the other hand is commanded to love his neighbour as himself, even if that neighbour is in no position to return the favour & so the man of God is called to help the destitute because of Jesus, whom the Man of God puts before himself, commands him to do so (Luke 14:13). A look at Mark 10:29 mentioned above shows you the extent to which we are to put Jesus first, that even if following after Jesus with the regenerated heart we are blessed with to keep His law, makes us fall out of our peers with whom we previously shared the likeminded pleasure for sin or if our family abandons us, so be it, because Jesus comes before ourselves. This is emphasised beautifully in the parable of the precious pearl mentioned above in Mat 13:45.
29 And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, 30 and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31 They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
16 So this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone,
a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation;
the one who relies on it
will never be stricken with panic.
11 Jesus is “‘the stone you builders rejected,
which has become the cornerstone.
If you are familiar with masonry, you will know that the cornerstone is what determines the entire architectural structure of a building because the entire structure is built in reference to it. Now the Bible says Jesus is the cornerstone of our lives and we to build our lives in reference to what is taught to us in scripture. Jesus is that precious cornerstone which was tested through the suffering that bore the chastisement for our sins. On this Jesus, those who rest their faith in Him are saved, as God blesses them with a new heart, on which is written His law that the believer may live a life of natural obedience in building his/her life in reference with God’s word given to us in the Bible. Like in James 4:13-15 it teaches us that if we are to undertake a certain task, we are to speak of it as if “the Lord so wills”, or if we are employed somewhere we are to work sincerely as though working for the Lord, that’s in Col 3:23. We also have to take care of our bodies because the Holy Spirit of Christ dwells in our bodies working His Salvation in our lives (Eph 2:8-10). We are taught not to look lustfully at women, so that we do not commit adultery in our hearts. We are also taught to honour the Redemption Sabbath and keep it holy & so we have a moral code that teaches us to put God first and love our neighbour as ourselves while the State is given the judicial law that those who transgress the Moral Law by committing murder, stealing or fornication are convicted in an attempt to hedge the Moral Law.
46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47 As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. 48 They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”
I would like to leave you with some advice for those times you feel dejected and rejected by the world. The solution is not loving and believing in yourself but instead loving and believing in the Triune God Almighty because as much as reading the manufacturer’s manual helps you understand your appliances, so too reading and mulling over what is written in the Bible will teach you more about yourself than you every knew or cared to realize. However, loving and believing in the Lord is something that is going to take you a long time because you need to acquaint yourself with scripture from cover to cover and understand that character and nature of God which will slowly rub off on you in time because the very work of Salvation is to restore that image/character of God that was broken for us all in the fall of Adam.