One of my personal battle cries is that truth matters and there is only one truth- the truth of the Bible. This is especially important in the present age when everyone seems to have their own truth. As a biblical counselor, I am obligated to give those I am blessed to disciple the gospel truth and to counsel them using the Word of God. I am often amazed at how many people don’t want to hear or believe it. I am equally amazed at how many hear it and want to make their own personal Jesus, and their own personal truth.
I am saddened by some of the women that I counsel. Their only goal in coming for counsel is to feel better. Feeling better has come to rule their lives and it is what they seek after more than any other thing. Sometimes they come angry because they tell me they have done all the right things, said all the right things, and prayed all the right things and in spite of all that they still don’t feel good or happy or fulfilled or joyful. They complain about how God is not hearing them or answering their prayers.
Jesus has become their own personal genie in the bottle and the Bible is their book of incantations. Of course, this is not how they intend it to be, but their lives bear out that they have created their own truth.
Several years ago I met a young woman who believed God spoke to her and led her by dreams and visions. She told me God wanted her to marry a certain man, and that she was to be wealthy and carefree. She dutifully followed these “leadings” and came to me for counseling because “God told me (her) to.”
For many weeks we met together and I showed her the truth from the Word of God, which she insisted needed to be mixed with her experience. The Word was not enough to stand on its own in her life.
And then there’s this…I remain utterly astonished at professing Christians who have bought into the health and wealth movement popularized these days by certain charismatic men who preach a different (and heretical) gospel. Theirs is the gospel of positive self-image, positive self-talk, and name it and claim it theology. Put an end to your negative thinking because you really should have your best life now…
If this is the best life gets- we are in serious trouble both presently and eternally. This is most certainly not the gospel.
Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23 (NIV)
THIS is the gospel. There are no promises in Scripture about happiness, being fulfilled, getting rich, satisfied, or having your best life now. What we find in the Bible from the mouth of our Savior is that once we are redeemed and regenerated that the remainder of the time we have here on earth is to be one of self-sacrifice. Following the Jesus of the Bible is hard. It is hard because He demands all to the point of leaving our families behind, forsaking our homes and loved ones, creature comforts, our freedoms, and even the giving of our lives.
It is a difficult thing to tell a woman her circumstances may never get better. It is hard to tell her that fairy tales are fiction, the frog is not a prince, and there are no happily ever afters here in this world. My duty is to help her understand that in spite of her difficulties and woes that Jesus is enough. He is enough because what He did was enough. He is enough because the gospel says that He ransomed us from an eternity in hell. Jesus is enough and the true gospel is enough- no additions needed.