2009-08-11 - Me, Myself and I
The False Gods Series, Part 3
I challenge you to count all the times in one day, that you see or hear the words, "me, my, mine, or I" in e-mail, in your computer networks, at websites (i.e. MyfoxAtlanta ©), and yes-in devotionals (I'm working on it!)! The epitome of this type of thinking, to me, was a t-shirt I saw someone wearing recently. It was one of those t-shirts where a red heart represents the word love. Sometimes the shirts proclaim that the wearer loves their dog or a city, but this time it said "I love me!" I'm all for a healthy self-esteem; in fact, I don't believe we can be our full God-created selves without it. But I thought this was a little bit "over the top."
Some think this excessive concern for self is new to our current times, but actually as Ecclesiastes said, "there is nothing new under the sun." Just as television talent shows actually originated in the 1950s and not with "American Idol ©," and just as the 1960s television show "What's My Line" © was already testing people to see if they were as smart as fifth-graders, God has always had to remind us to balance our self-esteem with concern for others and to steer us away from lives of selfishness. David's personal obsession with his own selfish desires led to the murder of Uriah, the husband of his illicit love. Herod's selfishness resulted in the murder of John the Baptist, who courageously confronted him about his sin. Ever since the Garden of Eden, mankind has struggled with "me, myself and I."
Please note that when Christ was teaching us how to love others, He told us to love others "as ourselves." Did He mean that we should hate ourselves and neglect our own needs? Absolutely not. In fact, Christ Himself took breaks and spent "down" time with good friends (albeit friends who didn't fully understand His ministry, and would sometimes prove to be very fallible). He told us to love others equally, and also went a step farther, reminding us that true love is willing to give up its life for others (harkening back to our previous discussion of "rights.").
As with most anything, the key is b-a-l-a-n-c-e. Some practical applications: If you aren't already, I challenge you to start your prayer time with prayers for others, leaving your own 'wish list' until the end. And when you find yourself hurting or angry, think of how the situation is affecting others, and try to see things from their point of view. Let's seek God's help and guidance on loving others as we love ourselves.
Comments or Questions?