While the prosperity gospel is limited to a certain segment of Christianity, some of the ideas weaved their way into mainstream evangelicalism. This book is not a critique of the prosperity gospel but of the ‘positivity gospel’ that developed in relation to it… Christianity can be presented in a ‘therapeutic’ sense with God being like a personal cheerleader whose primary concern is our success in life.
~ from Positively Powerless by L.L. Martin
Jesus is our personal saviour, but that doesn’t make me more special, or more loved, or more favoured than anyone else. Jesus didn’t devote years of His life to teaching about God and the godly life just for my sake. In fact, pretty much everything He did was other-centred. While this is not a cause for co-dependent behaviour it is reason to think, if I consider myself a follower of Christ, that becoming more like Him means losing the worldly, self-centred aspects of myself. As Mama Maggie said, give and give and give until it hurts. I don’t think I’m there yet, but at least I know where I’m going and what to aim for, by grace.
Also, we have what Jesus called our helper, which is the gift of God’s presence within us: His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is able to bring about far more than we can ever even hope to accomplish on our own. When I stop asking God to help me get what I want, when I stop asking for Him to do what I think best, in those frail in-between places He performs miracles.
…I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations… At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,
“My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.”
… And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.
Extract from 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (The Message)