Not all Christians have been set free. They have merely moved from a slavery of self to a slavery of self-denial.
To many Christians, phrases like “self-esteem,” “self-worth,” “self-value,” and “becoming more” are dangerous. To them, they reek of selfishness and work against Jesus’ message of dying to self. Do they?
When Jesus told us to take up our cross daily, He didn’t say to stop there. He told us to follow Him. Perhaps I have a different Bible than most, but when I follow Jesus through the Gospels, He doesn’t stop at the cross. He continues on to the Resurrection.
Let’s be clear. The cross announces my death. I can no longer live for myself and be selfish. But to stop here is to limit your Christianity. To stop hear is to preach a message of death. To stop hear is to teach others that they are, like you, a mistake. That God is ashamed of what man has become and wants to wipe every single soul off the face of the planet. Under this view, Christians are the leaders of this new miserable creature called the human.
But what if we followed Jesus three days longer? What if we continued from the cross to the empty grave? From Friday to Sunday? From death to life? I think we would find a message that says we are more than we want to believe we are. We are not a mistake, but perfectly created to fulfill the call God has placed on our lives. That we indeed have value, worth, and esteem. That we have reason to have confidence in ourselves as children of God.
Is this a dangerous message? Yes. But not for the believer. This is a message that endangers the world, the powers that rule it, and the comfortable “status quo.”
Jesus wants us to be liberated–even from, if necessary, “Christianity.” His message wasn’t die and stay there. It was die so you can live. Today. Right now.