In the chaos of hectic days, I am repeatedly swept along by a roaring current. Waves of culture and societal normalities wash over me. I barely notice that I am not discerning the situation around me or my interaction with it. I need a reality check every day—we all do.
It is unbelievably easy to float with the tide and it is a relentless struggle to swim upstream. Our Western society tells us to pursue glorification of ourselves, to hold our happiness as the ultimate goal. But as a Christian, I have to fight my inherent desire to consider myself the centre of the universe because I know the true centre of the universe is far more glorious and deserving of adoration.
Most of my waking hours are spent immersed in a predominantly secular society; earning a living, socialising, commuting and completing errands. With the majority of my days spent this way, it is not surprising that I swim alongside conversations exemplifying the exaltation of self, whether explicitly or more subtly.
What reality check?
I know I desperately need a reality check when I am not struck everyday by the worship of self all around me and in my own heart.
When I fail to remember that I live in the reality of a fallen world marred by sin, I cannot grow in faith, trust and love for the only hope we have—Jesus Christ.
The reality is that the creator of the universe took on flesh to be the blood sacrifice required by a holy God. He did this in love to break our bondage of worshipping ourselves as creatures which always fall short of perfection.
How can I pride myself on my performance at work, my cooking at home, my physical strength when I am like grass that will wither and die? "For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself." (Galatians chapter 6, verse 3)
I need a reality check when I am boasting in myself as the world subliminally tells me to do. I need a reality check when I think I have something good in me without the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John chapter 1, verses 8, 9)
I need the reality check that, objectively and outside of anything I do, God is faithful to forgive me, to cleanse me from my unrighteousness, and impute his own perfect record so that I can worship the true centre of the universe for all eternity.
How can I constantly glorify myself, as the world does, when the beauty of God is seen most clearly outside of myself? Why do I care about how I look, when I am most profited by caring where mine and others' souls are heading?
Ultimately, I need a reality check directly from God through his word, "Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few." (Matthew chapter 7, verse 13)
Lord, close the wide gate to the easy road of self-worship, and grant a reality check every day that I may follow you down the narrow path.
Harriet Knox lives in windy Wellington, New Zealand. She works for the Government, loves animals, and cannot function well without a gym membership. She became a Christian at University and attends Gracenet Community Church.
Harriet Knox's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/harriet-knox.html