THE GOSPEL OF SELF
Commentary by Roger Oakland
Understand The Times International: Roger Oakland Ministries
A brief examination of the books available in the psychology section of any local book store will confirm the fact that "self-empowerment" is being promoted as a key to the future survival of mankind. There are countless books published centering on the "self." Books on "self-awareness," "self-determination," "self-care," "self-acceptance," and of course, "self-esteem". Without a doubt we have become the "self-generation". +
As well, there are also numerous "human potential" workshops, seminars and weekend retreats offering individuals a personal pathway to unfoldment, peace, power and prosperity: "You can be greater than you think," or "visualize your dreams into reality," or you can "name it and claim it." Also, therapies and techniques are being popularized that will help you discover how to create personal power and positive direction for your life. In general, the gospel of "self" proclaims: "You deserve it. Don't worry about what others think. If it feels good, itís OK."
This desire to love one's self is certainly not new. The book of Genesis details what took place shortly after the fall of man. God had created Adam and Eve, the first man and the first woman. They were created because God desired to have a loving relationship with them. But instead of mandating a relationship by force, God gave the first human beings a free will to choose whether or not they would love their Creator in by testing their obedience to Him. They were not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If they did, the consequence of disobedience would be physical death.
The Bible tells us that Satan appeared to Eve in the Garden of Eden and enticed her to disobey God. Adam followed and ate of the fruit of the tree as well. As a result of Adam and Eve's disobedience, the harmonious relationship they had with God was cut off. No longer were they God-centered. They instantly became self-centered.
The lie that Satan used to seduce Eve was centered around the promise there is unlimited potential available for man when he makes a choice to take the pathway of "self-fulfillment" and rejects fellowship with God. The lie used by Satan in the Garden so many years ago, is the same tactic he uses today.And Christians are by no means exempt from Satan's cunning devices. The self-love, self-serve, self-centered, candy-coated promises for self-success so common today should be avoided like the plague, if we are going to be a follower of Jesus Christ. Jesus plainly said: "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." 
 Luke 9:23