The apostle’s famous words, ‘I am crucified with Christ,‘ points out the greatest hindrance to reconciliation with God: the problem of self-regard. Here is how it ‘requisitions’ every part of a person to dominate life, and how Christ forgives and remakes us to walk with Himself.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
There are many obstacles to faith but there’s one that probably exceeds all others. It’s a universal hindrance to faith in Christ, experienced by people (particularly in youth but it survives into old age also); it’s an impediment that besets everyone irrespective of culture, irrespective of background, whether you’re emotional and impulsive, or whether you’re phlegmatic and thoughtful, whatever your personality or disposition there is one great impediment to faith, and it is self-regard.
Self-regard is the greatest obstacle to belief in God and in Christ. You might call it pride, you might just call it self-centeredness, but self-regard is the wider and the more courteous term. It’s a tremendous disadvantage for seeking Christ and that’s what this verse focuses on. Now we live in a self-regarding generation – the ‘me, me, me’ era –
where we are programmed and taught from earliest years to regard ourselves first and foremost. Years ago unselfishness used to be honoured and low self-regard used to be admired. But not now.