No one is ever united with Jesus Christ until they are willing to relinquish not sin only, but their whole way of looking at things.
– Oswald Chambers, My Upmost for His Highest
....That's not easy to read or really wrap my head around. You might say, it's the original inconvenient truth. Some might say, it sucks.
The things that we don’t question about ourselves are usually the areas where we are the most numb to the presence, design, and desire of God. Those places are usually the areas where we are content with ourselves. I’m not saying those areas are bad, but that they are areas where we live without any active, substantial, or meaningful reliance/connection with Christ.
Of course, we question our “big sins,” but we don’t think twice about what excites us and why. What are the things that I'm happy with? Why? What about them stirs up my happiness? Often, we'll be surprised by how self-centered the answers can be in areas like parenthood, marriage, friendships, work, volunteer work, church participation, et cetera.
Usually, when I’m unconsciously content with an area of my life it is because the needs of my self-centeredness and ego are being met. For instance, do I feel appreciated? When I do, I’m usually far less interested in doing what God appreciates (loving the stranger, my neighbor, and tending to the needy). The needs of my self-centeredness are being satisfied and it doesn’t even cross my mind to seek the love and presence of Christ in that area.
Religion and religious services are two places where we are easily seduced into being content with our self-centered needs being met. God and Christianity are not about getting rid of sins and adopting religious practices, but making room for life and life more abundantly. This is why Jesus said, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me." He doesn't specify denying only sins, but our selves: our individuality, our particularity. Numb life doesn't = abundant life. Christ teaches us how to savor in all and through all.