I started an interesting class last week. It has something good for every part of my life. It focuses on wholeness and better relationships. It’s a first of its kind for me and being in the training field I am very judgy about the trainings. It bugs me that many people do not have mastery of content and end up giving you stories rather than clarifying the subject and bringing on new insight.
Ironically when I started that class I also got to attend a leadership meeting for a group I serve with. Sadly the facilitator did not meet my expectations and I felt the planning team sort an evangelist rather than a teacher or a trainer. Even then I learnt a lot. Sometimes the topic is not the lesson, many other things are. Even in sessions that don’t meet my expectations, I make sure to learn something and I did. (Just don’t ask what. The answer might not please you)
So just as the weekend was coming to a wrap, my pastor, gave a sermon that will linger in my mind a while. His title was that “we all have a deficit,”. That we need God to complete us and that many times because we don’t see the deficit we don’t allow God to work on us. The more we see our emptiness the more we allow God to fill us. It struck a thought in my mind, is the reason we have unhealthy relationships because we feel we are enough on our own? Do we constantly view ourselves right and others wrong? Do we constantly think we are God’s elect and others are not? I think for me the questions are more personal. They are; do I feel constantly right and treat others like they are wrong? Do I constantly feel like I give the best and others are vain? Do I consider myself loved by God and treat others like they are not loved by God at all? Is my position on the answers of these questions a representation of what God would say about the questions? Are we a generation of self absorbed individuals? Do we really want to continue that way of life? Is there a way of doing life that is better than self absorbed? On a more personal note, am I self absorbed and if I am do I want to continue living that way?
I know it feels like a very harsh preposition to use, let’s examine its characteristics further.
- Everything is about you and needs to be as per your standards.
- You don’t listen to others because they are always wrong and you are right.
- You don’t even think their opinion is right at all, you wonder like I sometimes do, “Who picked them?”
- You don’t relate well with others because you don’t think they have anything to offer.
- They should know who they are speaking to, and polish their thoughts before they get to you.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.Philippians 2 : 3 ESV
Does this description fit you? It can be very subtle. Many times it just comes off as you have more experience than they do and its OK to look down on them because they have a few years to catch up with you. You don’t mind putting others down because according to you they deserve it.
A reminder to take a self assessment. Just an opportunity to be more like Jesus. The formulae is to consider others better than ourselves, consider them more significant than ourselves and treat them so.
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.Mark 12:30-31 ESV
Loving God is the beginning of life. Love Him like you are doing it the last time, love Him with all you are. Also now that you are still living on earth love His people like you love yourself. That translate to;
- Validate others in their work, it might not be as good as yours but validate them.
- Listen to people and not just to respond but to hear them out because they matter.
The list is longer than I want to write. I believe we can reduce our personal level of self absorbedness.