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June 3, 2014, 10:32 AM

Symptoms of the Self-Focused

When Christ is Not the Center


What does a believer look like, that no longer seeks to keep Christ as their central focus of life?

What would someone who is not spiritually maturing look like? These signs of spiritual immaturity are the symptoms of not being engaged in the walk that identifies a true disciple of Jesus Christ.

From Acts to the end of the New Testament the Scriptures were written to help true disciples of Christ know where it is that need a tune-up, and overhaul, and an alignment to get back onto the Way of following Christ as His disciples. That is the "teaching them to observe" portion of the Great Commission.

The Epistles are the practical daily lessons, or doctrines that we are to personally embrace. Then these "teachings" are what we share from our experience, to help other believers know how they are to follow Christ; and what hinders them from pleasing Him.

We can summarize the key elements that Christ left in the New Testament for believers to "observe", and explain what any neglect of that would look like for a true disciple. Here is a simple way of showing this analysis. You know you need to be taught how to be Christ-centered:


Symptoms of the Self-Focused: Me But Not Christ Life

As Christ's followers or disciples we are to seek Him as our goal, purpose, and direction each day. When we don't it is no longer Christ who leads, but us.

If you have: Usually only a marginal desire for God's Word (virtually "Biblically illiterate").

If you: Often walk in the flesh; and usually do not know the difference between walking in the flesh and walking in the Spirit.

If you have: Few, if any, "works of grace", i.e., no evidence of being filled with God's love to serve others, giving, etc.

If you are: Usually stuck in the basics, with no evident growth.

If you have: A limited desire for fellowship with other believers, you can "take it or leave it".

If you have:  strong desires for worldly possessions; and are driven by selfish ambitions; and often exhibiting a spirit of competition.

If you: Often feel great difficulty in repenting/forgiving others.

If you have: A lack of compassion for the lost.

If you are: Not actively assisting in the spiritual development of others.

If you have: A limited sense of God, His character or His will.

If you have: A life filled with fear, anxiety, and the absence of peace.

If you are: Often covetous, boastful, prideful, manipulative, etc.

If you have: Only partial victories over sin.

If you have: A non-existent or lackluster prayer life.

If you have: Little or no time or sincere interest in God-centered worship.

If you are: Not really accountable to anyone for anything.

If you have: A very small degree of grace and mercy toward others or self.[3]


If any of the above symptoms are in your life today, now is the time to repent. Forsake all areas of selfish living by right here, gathered before Christ:


Today We Renew Our Pledge: Not I but Christ


Make Paul's distilled down purpose in life your very own again today:


I want the result of my salvation to always be the goal of: "not I but Christ". He must increase and I want to decrease.


I want to always remember that the method of my salvation: "He gave Himself for me". I was bought at a great price and now I belong to Him.


Galatians 2:20 (NKJV) I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.


Re-Affirm Christ As the Center of Your Life


Cry out in faith to Christ and say:


"I want to stay crucified with you oh Christ.

No longer do I want to live for me.

I want to renew my surrendered life of following you".


Christ is always to be the center of life to us who are saved, who are born-again, and who are believers. As true disciples of Jesus: Christ is central to everything.


This devotional is an excerpt from a recent message by Dr. John Barnett.  

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