Life on the Margin

A favorite strategy in the Devil’s plan book is marginalization. If he can push us away from Christ as the center of our lives, he will wreak havoc. Under the influence of the soul’s enemy, fallen men tend to move to the margins in their assessment of self-worth. Either the person will think more highly of themselves than they ought, or they will think through self-deprecation that they are of little or no value. To move to either margin is destructive.

When a person overvalues themselves, their egotistical attitude alienates people. They project an air of superiority and haughtiness that will push people away. Scripture speaks to this issue:

  • For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.“ (Galatians 6:3)
  • “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” (Romans 12:3)
  • “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.” (Romans 12:16)
  • “Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” (Proverbs 26:12)
  • Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6)

Likewise, thoughts of feeling worthless and unworthy are also lies from no one other than the Devil. When a person discounts their worth as an individual, it can lead to depression, despair, and a sense of hopelessness. Those feelings often result in a fear of failure, and people become non-productive and ‘turned in’ on themselves. Scripture speaks to this issue as well:

  • “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”  (Ephesians 2:19)
  • “And he said, “O man greatly loved, fear not, peace be with you; be strong and of good courage.” (Daniel 10:19)
  • “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
  • “Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you…(Isaiah 43:4)
  • “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 15:5)

A life lived on the margin or periphery has a curse on it. Only when a life is centered in Christ can it be all it is meant to be. “For in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28, NIV).  The reason we should center our lives in Christ is clear. When we live in the center of His will, the Lord says to us, For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV).

Centered on Christ Jesus, hearts are fully blest,
Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.
(from “Like a River Glorious”, by Frances Ridley Havergal)

~ Brother Roy

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