Forget About You

original

I love me.

But, I also hate me.

I love when people praise me, and I hate it when people don’t.

I find myself constantly—and silently—comparing myself to others in an attempt to see if and how I measure up.

Measure up to what, you ask? I have no idea. All I know is that there is this constant struggle within my innermost being to outshine all of the rest of you.

In my former years, before Christ, it was the clothes I wore, or the money I had. The songs I recorded, to the fights I fought.

Now, in Christ, my ego is still there. Sure, I am a new creature, with new desires and new motivations. But that doesn’t stop my ego from surfacing and demanding that I feed it and nurture it. After all, it’s the flesh—and the flesh wants, what the flesh wants.

So, instead of feeding my ego through how many more women (and comparatively more beautiful women) I’ve slept with than you, I compare how much more theology I know than you. I compare whether or not I can interpret a particular passage of the Scripture more accurately than you. I compare how much more better I am at this “Christian-thing” than you, with all of my marvelous works and righteous deeds. I even compare myself to other preachers, and ministry leaders, imagining how “I could do much better than that!”

The problem is, in all of my comparisons, I still don’t measure up. And I believe that I never will.

And neither will you.

The fact of the matter is that there will always be someone smarter, richer, and more spiritual than you are. And there will always be someone smarter, richer, and more spiritual than they are. His name? Jesus Christ.

If Jesus is the standard—and He is, than we will always fall short. The Bible tells us “all have fallen short of God’s glorious standard” (emphasis added).[1]

C.S. Lewis, in his beloved classic Mere Christianity, illustrates how competitive our prideful, self-centered, tendencies can be.

Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next person. We say that people are proud of being rich, or clever, or good-looking, but they are not. They are proud of being richer, or cleverer, or better-looking than others. If everyone else became equally rich, or clever, or good-looking there would be nothing to be proud about.[2]

So then, what shall we do to overcome our egos? Forget about yourself.

Recently, my wife and I attended a marriage seminar at Southern Seminary. The truth is, I went into this marriage seminar believing I knew all there was to know all ready, but, nevertheless, of course I’ll go to appease my bride. It wasn’t long, however, that after the seminar began, that I began to realize that I don’t know jack. In fact, I have a whole lot of learning to do. I have a whole lot of “forgetting of self” to do.

For my friends in ministry, seminary, and those of the more pious degree, I’ll leave you with this:

Jesus did not save you to Himself to become like Him in all His greatness, but to become like Him in all of His weakness. Jesus made Himself weak in the sense that He attempted to accomplish nothing apart from dependency upon God the Father—and nether should we. It’s not about the powerful sermons you or I may preach, or the souls we may think we’ve delivered into the Kingdom. It is about the humility we walk in day-by-day, and the love we’ve shown to God, and others, through forgetting about self, and living for Him.

 

[1] Romans 3:23

[2] C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2001.

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