In our society we have been deeply influenced by a philosophy of radical individualism. All the messages we hear in the media tell us to “look out for number one — you,” “you are the master of your own destiny,” “If it feels right for you, then go for it!” As Christians we can easily dismiss the obvious anti-christian message in these phrases, yet we tend to miss the deeper-lying root of the message that rings through our theology. Much of our talk of a relationship with God has to do with what God can do for us. God can heal you from your pain. God can deliver you from an addiction. God can restore broken relationships. While these things are all true and are the overflow of an authentic relationship with God, is it possible that these things have become the focus of our theology rather than the byproduct of it? In other words, has the church resorted to selling the gospel with the benefits of believing rather than the glory of God?
Here’s the reality. God is God and we were created to worship Him and bring glory to His name. The quality of a church, or an individual life, should not be based upon the “happiness quotient” or the “customer satifsfaction index” of the members. Rather, it should be based upon the level to which God was honored and His name was glorified by the congregation’s, both collectively and indivdually, conduct and character. Let’s make sure that everything we do is motivated by bringing honor and glory to God, first and foremost. When God is glorified and we are in a right relationship with Him, then the healing power of the gospel will flow freely through His people and overflow into the world. First things first!