Humanism – an outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters.
Jesus: Remember, what is humanly impossible is possible with God.
Luke 18:27 (V)
I was raised with a strong belief in human power. The belief that if I work hard enough, develop my skills and talents diligently enough, think rationally enough, I will be successful and can accomplish great things. I have felt a lot of pressure in believing that everything depends on my effort, talents and skills. There are also many traps with this way of thinking that have ensnared me: competitiveness, attention seeking, pride, insecurity, disillusionment, and burnout just to name a few. Perhaps the greatest flaw and tragedy of humanism is how limiting it is. Jesus tells us that there are simply many things humans cannot do. There is a lot that is impossible for people. However, everything is possible with God. A belief in God and the truth of Scripture leads to a life that is powered supernaturally and results in inexplicable things happening. Ask yourself, am I humanistic? How much has it limited me in my life? Do I live like I believe in the supernatural?
When we choose to believe these truths in Scripture over humanism, we can live a life of endless inspiration.
The Truth about God
They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. 20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.
Romans 1:19-20 (NLT)
There is a truth about God that is obvious to us all deep down inside. His greatness and power, though invisible, can be clearly seen. Yet, I want to believe in my own greatness and power. Later in Romans 1, Paul talks about how we “exchange the truth of God for a lie.” Then, we end up serving the “created rather than the creator.” This makes us look to ourselves and people for power rather than God. When we do this, we end up disillusioned, let down, unfulfilled or bitter.
For me, I have to come against a wall I cannot scale to stop and look to God for supernatural power. I have hit many of those walls. We can hit the wall of helplessness watching a loved one battle cancer or alzheimer’s. Or, face down special needs and emotional health challenges. Sometimes is it just fighting our own sins and weaknesses.
These are the times when humanism fails and I need to decide if I am going to believe in the supernatural power of God. In 1 Samuel 17, David faced down a giant in mortal combat. David believed the truth about God, and therefore saw Goliath for what he was, a powerless human who could be defeated. When we see the truth about God, we can face our Goliaths with God’s supernatural power. What Goliath am I facing? Am I using human reasoning and power or am I turning to God in prayer and trust to defeat the Goliath in my life?
The Truth about Me
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.
1 Corinthians 15:10 (NIV)
There is great freedom in being comfortable in our own skin. In this Scripture, Paul has accepted the truth about himself. He is comfortable with who he is in spite of his weaknesses, failures, limitations and sins. God’s grace allows us to relax knowing God accepts us as we are. In contrast, when we become humanistic, we feel pressure to be someone we are not. The effort to hide who we are, leaves us tired, empty, and alone. Ask yourself, are you confident enough in God’s love to reveal who you really are? Do your friends know the real you?
The Truth about Us
Friends! No! No! Don’t do this! We’re just humans like all of you! We’re not here to be worshiped! We’re here to bring you good news—good news that you should turn from these worthless forms of worship and instead serve the living God, the God who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that they contain.
Acts 14:15 (V)
Paul and Barnabas understood the dangers of following people rather than God. They wanted no part of it. Similarly, we want to build a church that does not follow, give attention to, or worship people. The only way to accomplish this is is to have every person devoted to the truth of Scripture over the opinion people. The following are symptoms of humanism.
2-Easily hurt and embittered
3-Insecure and thinking negatively
4-Consistently fearful that people are thinking negatively of you
5-Unwilling to take risks because fearful of looking like a failure
6-Living off the praise of people
Do any of these symptoms describe you?
Everyday, we are given the opportunity to choose between The truth of the Scriptures and humanism. What choices are you making?