“Because you say, ‘I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,’ and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked” Revelation 3:17
We tend to confuse having a comfortable life with being blessed by God. But health and wealth are not accurate measurements of God’s love or approval. That’s the mistake the church at Laodicea made. They assessed their spiritual health by their material wealth; yet were blind to their true spiritual condition. So, how do you know if you have a wrong self-perception? And what is the remedy?
The church at Laodicea is most remembered for being “lukewarm” (v16). In other words, they had room temperature faith. Jesus explained their problem more specifically in verse 17. They also had a wrong self-perception because they didn’t see themselves the way Jesus saw them.
The prosperity gospel has created a similar problem in American Christianity. As long as God is providing for us materially, we tend to think we’re okay spiritually. That’s backwards thinking. God doesn’t exist to bless us; we exist to serve and honor Him. Jesus still challenges us to see ourselves as He sees us. It’s not about being more self-aware—which makes our thoughts, emotions, and personality the focus of attention. It’s about being more spiritually aware.
What’s the prescription for a wrong self-perception? God’s loving correction. Jesus told Laodicea, “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent” (v19). The Lord first reveals wrong thoughts and attitudes through the ministry of His Word and by the conviction of the Holy Spirit. If we don’t repent and correct the problem, then God does what’s necessary to get our attention.
How would Jesus assess your spiritual health today? Does some area of life seem to be spinning out of control? Ask God if it’s Him trying to get your attention. Remember, correcting a wrong self-perception requires taking an honest look at yourself and then acting on it. And making that change will usually cost you something. That’s because God is more concerned with how well you’re conforming to the image of His Son than with how comfortable you are. So, live today with more spiritual awareness than self-awareness.