Is Self-Fulfilment a Christian Concern?
Now I don't profess to know everything about Scripture. But I fail to see any biblical justification for all this self-centred emphasis. In fact I don't see self-fulfilment as a biblical concern at all. Peace and joy, yes - but that can be (and often is) in a situation of self-denial and suffering.
I firmly believe in the Church's healing ministry - whether physical healing or emotional (inner) healing. I've seen God work miracles in these areas.
One of my churches had a prayer counselling department which, in addition to our own members, ministered to Christian leaders from far and wide. But the aim behind it was not self-fulfilment or primarily wholeness: it's helping people to be better able to serve God sacrificially.
From a biblical point of view, it seems self-fulfilment is incidental. We are called not to fulfil self but to deny self. I think that some well-meaning Christians who rightly want to help people out of self-rejection, self-condemnation, and inferiority feelings are being deceived into thinking this is an end in itself.
So, although I believe in Christian counselling and inner I healing, I reckon that what many Christians need is not more of that, but a little more self-denial.
If they get on with sacrificial service to God and others - especially in terms of witnessing to non-Christians - I'm confident a lot of their problems would dissolve. It is in giving that we receive. But the motive is to give, not to receive.
© Tony Higton: see conditions for copying on the Home Page