Stop Looking at Yourself


“When I look at myself, I don’t see how I can be saved. When I look at Christ, I don’t see how I can be lost.” – Martin Luther

I can be a very introspective person. There are times when I will replay entire conversations in my head, debating whether or not I said the right thing at the right moment in the right way. Naturally, when I apply that introspection to my faith I can end up in one of two categories. Depending on the day (sometimes even the hour) I can feel deflated by my own failure or I can feel inflated by my own pride. There’s very little that keeps me from thinking I’m the worst Christian who ever lived one moment to thinking I’m the best Christian around the next. My mind can be as fickle as a Tennessee Volunteers coaching search (if you don’t understand that reference you’re better off, trust me). At the end of the day, each of these responses leave me burdened with the weight of my own sin.

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In the midst of days like this, I'm relieved I’m not the only Christian who’s ever gone through this experience. In fact, many great men and women of the faith have wrestled with morbid introspection and self-doubt. Martin Luther was one of those people. If Paul was a Hebrew of Hebrews then Luther was a monk of monks. He dotted all the I’s and crossed all the T’s on his spiritual checklist, but couldn’t escape the guilt of his own conscience until Christ set him free.

Sometime later in his life, Luther is recorded to have said these words, “When I look at myself, I don’t see how I can be saved. When I look at Christ, I don’t see how I can be lost.” We have two choices every single day. We can either look to ourselves for strength, peace, and life or we can look to Christ for those things. Only one will satisfy us. Only when we look to Christ will we see that we have nothing, but He has everything. We are lacking, but He is enough. Look to yourself and you will be driven to despair. But look to Christ and you will be driven to worship.

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Robert Murray M’Cheyne famously said, “For every look at yourself, take ten looks at Christ.”

What about you? For every minute you spend dwelling on your own imperfections, do you spend ten minutes dwelling on Christ’s perfection? For every thought you give to your own inabilities, do you give ten thoughts to Christ’s ability? This is no simple formula, but rather a daily discipline of throwing yourself upon the fountain of mercy that is your living Savior. Will you look to Him today? Will you drink from the stream that never runs dry?

Steele Wright. Soccer enthusiast. Hopelessly optimistic Vol.

I read sometimes.


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