I remember the phrase “I’m okay, you’re okay”. It was a popular phrase in the 1970’s and 80’s. It originates with a 1967 self-help book. The phrase took on a life of its own, and has been used to promote self-esteem, especially in children. I think the phrase is still in use today to promote self-esteem, but for many people, in practice, I think it has become “I’m okay but you are not okay”. People today seem to feel that they are pretty good and have it together most of the time, but those they disagree with are not okay. Those disagreeable people have been misled and/or have serious issues. They must not be okay. I think that is a common way of thinking today.
People today look around and blame today’s problems and the problems we experience on cultural influences and other people with serious problems. These are problem people, who we believe by our own definition, do not want to do things the way we want them done. Today’s “enlightened” people believe it is wrong thinking and wrong societal ideas that are creating the problems, which can be found in societal structures of domination and oppression (Critical Theory). It can not be our fault because we are okay, relatively good, so we look outside ourselves to locate the problems. Even though there are cultural influences and other people creating problems, the real core problem is inside each and every one of us.
Here is the reality. Each and every one of us is not okay. We all have our problems. We all are broken. Some people want us to embrace our brokenness and say that is just who we are. I do not think it is a good idea to deny or embrace self destructive behavior. I believe our brokenness is self destructive and it is also not good for others. The fact is I am not okay. I am not good or good enough. I have my problems. I have my issues. My brokenness is not healthy for me and for others. And since it is true of everyone, that is why the world is as messed up as it is.
If you pull back the curtain and look deep inside you, you will find that you are a self centered selfish person whose ego is focused on yourself. Whether you are feeling good about yourself or despairing, the focus is on you. Even when you try to be generous and giving, that self centeredness is still there. That self centeredness corrupts everything. That is the core problem with you and the world. Christians have a name for that condition and for all the wrong doing and wrong thinking. It is called sin. We are left in a pretty hopeless situation.
But there is hope. Though we can not solve the problem, God, the Creator of the universe and of us, can. Because he loves each and every one of us, he has sent Jesus to us as the solution. Jesus came to Earth and was born. He grew up and lived a perfect life. He died on a cross as a payment for our sin, and then he rose again so that we may have a full life in him. That full life in Jesus empowers Christians, those who have received Jesus as Lord and Savior, to work for a better life for all, and one day we, Christians, will live eternally with him in a world without sin. Today it is clear that we are not okay, but God still fully and completely loves each and every one of us, so it is okay.
That is what the Bible says. Below is from the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Romans.
- Everyone is a sinner and needs God’s salvation. “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)
- The consequence of sin is death, but God offers salvation for free. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
- In love, Jesus Christ took our place and died for our sins. He paid the price for us. “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
- It is through faith that we receive salvation and eternal life. “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” (Romans 10:9-10)
- Because of Jesus Christ, our relationship with God has been restored. We are no longer condemned by our sin. “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1) and “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)
Father God, Thank you for saving me because of all that Jesus has done. I am yours. Forgive me, cleanse me, and restore me for I am broken, a sinner in need of your forgiveness. Thank you for that forgiveness and for your love, mercy, and grace. Let your Holy Spirit enable me to live a full life dedicated to you. I ask this because of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. He is Lord and Savior! Amen!