In the opening line of chapter 4 of “Inside Out,” Dr. Larry Crabb says this,
If we are people who know God, who taste Him with a richness that sustains us through hard times of rejection and loss, then we must take an inside look.
If you are a True Life Christian (TLC), this has to be our purpose, calling, and mantra 365 days a year. “Well,” you say, “at least I get relief on whenever it is a leap year. You know, every 4 years.” I am sorry to spoil your fun of getting one day of relief from your hard times. However, Christ uses these hard times, times of temptation, in order to see if you will choose and trust Him or not. Don’t believe me? As 1 Peter 2:21 says,
For to you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might walk in His steps” (ESV).
Just think of Jesus Christ, immediately after He was baptized and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him, the Holy Spirit led Jesus into 40 days and nights of temptation (Luke 4:1-13).
Under Two Reactions on page 67, Dr. Crabb writes this,
For people who are disillusioned and discouraged after years of trying hard to do everything right, the news is good: more effort isn’t the answer. But folks who are satisfied either with their zealous conformity to Christian standards or with their nicely balanced and comfortably moral approach to life need to be directly confronted with the Lord Jesus Christ’s insistence that internal matters be addressed. For them, the news is threatening.
He goes on to write,
Before we actually begin our inside look, I want to clearly state that I’m comfortable with neither reaction. The first one, which fears that self-understanding leads to self-centeredness, often builds on the assumption that personal problems dissolve in the solution of Bible knowledge and Christian activities. … The second reaction, which centers completely on the importance of self-acceptance as the foundation for abundant living, does not define sin superficially as mere behavioral transgression, but it defines sin wrongly as an inability to trust God enough to love oneself.
On page 69, under Dealing with our Desires, the doctor writes,
But even after fervent prayer and concentrated efforts to behave more selflessly, it is difficult to deny the fact that deep personal desires remain. Prayer to ”get over” our longings is not effective. The only way to overcome these desires is to treat them as though they don’t exist and to forcefully choose to put others ahead of ourselves.
But this is not easy. I am still struggling with personal sins that at the root have selfish motives, but that is where I take comfort because I have an advocate in Jesus Christ where He says,
Come to Me, all of you, who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take My yoke (a farming device) and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30, HCSB).