This past Easter weekend I heard a K-LOVE disc jockey tell her listeners that on occasion we should celebrate ourselves. For those of you not familiar with K-LOVE, it is a Christian radio station that plays great music and often delivers bad theology.
The young lady’s main point I believe she was trying to get across is that every once in a while, it is good to pamper ourselves. Although that is not at all what she conveyed, I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt. Her exacts words were, “Celebrate you, because Jesus does!”
I looked up celebrate in my concordance, and I could not find the word. The closest I could get to it after looking it up in a thesaurus was honor. I was able to find where we receive honor from God. One instance was where Solomon received honor from God. Solomon sought wisdom from God so he could judge and lead God’s people.
God told Solomon that he was pleased with his request and because he did not seek riches or special treatment from God, that he would not only give him wisdom, but this also:
“And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days.” (1 Kings 3:13)
Solomon’s example teaches us that we are to seek to love and serve God with all our hearts, mind, and strength and that any riches or honor we receive will come from God. Nowhere in the Bible do we read we are to celebrate ourselves.
Jesus once gave the highest honor to his cousin John the Baptist:
“For I say to you, among those born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” (Luke 7:28)
Even in Jesus’ complement, He tells us that those in heaven experience greater things than anything we can achieve here on earth. John the Baptist did not consider himself great, in fact when speaking of Jesus to the Pharisees, he said:
“It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.” (John 1:27)
John the Baptist would go on to tell his disciples that he would have to become less so that Jesus could become more. The more of Jesus we seek for ourselves, the less we will seek to exalt or celebrate ourselves.
The best we can celebrate or honor ourselves is to live righteous lives for Jesus. There is great danger in focusing on ourselves; not the least of it, becoming judgmental. Again, I’m not implying that the disc jockey is practicing such nor was she promoting it, but we should be very cautious when it comes to celebrating or honoring ourselves. Solomon gives us the right path to follow:
“By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life.” (Proverbs 22:4)
I can imagine some of you feeling the need to defend this young lady: don’t. She doesn’t need defending because I am not indicting her. I am merely using her words as a teachable moment. Particularly with it being Easter weekend, the encouragement to celebrate me should be overcome with the desire to worship Jesus.
Salvation, through the forgiveness of our sins, is not something we deserve. We cannot earn it. We have received ample mercy, which is not receiving the punishment we deserve. We have been showered with abundant grace, which is receiving riches we do not deserve.
Perhaps this young lady does not struggle with pride and selfishness. I know I do. I never need encouragement to celebrate myself; it comes naturally.
What I need more than anything in life is Jesus. I need His grace to be merciful to others, and I need His strength to serve even in the midst of persecution.
I want to celebrate Jesus with my life.
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Copyright © 2017 David Jeffers