9 errors of the Gospel of self-fulfillment By Joseph Mattera, Op-ed Contributor for Christian Post
Since the dawn of the “positive thinking” message of Norman Vincent Peale in the 20th century, there has been an avalanche of preachers teaching variations of this message. (The “health and wealth” prosperity gospel, “name it and claim it,” along with various modes of motivational types of preaching.) When the objective is “self-fulfillment,” the message often reduces the gospel of Christ to appease the narcissistic dreams of half-baked Christians.
The following are nine errors of the Gospel of self-fulfillment:
1. The cross of Christ is absent
I have read many motivational Christian and secular books from all genres and the one glaring truth missing is the cross of Christ. Jesus told His followers that they had to take up their cross and follow Him (Matthew 16: 24). That is to say, we are called to appropriate the power of the finished work of Calvary to our self-centered desires so we can fulfill His will. (Read Galatians 2:19-20 to see how the Apostle Paul taught the church to apply the cross to their flesh.)
he cross is absent from the Gospel of self-fulfillment because it is antithetical to its essence. That is to say, the cross rebuts the notion of attempting to live without suffering as it contradicts the idea of living a life based on self-fulfillment. In reality, God calls us to do many things that we do not like and that do not grant us great happiness.
Paul even said that he did not count his life of any value so that he may finish the ministry the Lord gave him (Acts 20:24).
2. It empowers egocentric dreams
One of the famous mantras today is that “you can be anything you want to be” or “all our dreams can come true.” However, the reality is that not all of our dreams and desires are God-given or grounded in reality. (Reality includes self-awareness regarding one’s natural ability and talent.) This kind of teaching makes people disillusioned if their desire is not rooted in God.