I am self-absorbed. I like things the way I like things. I like my radio stations. I like sitting where I like to sit. I like my parking spot. I like my style of clothing. I like my chosen car speed. I like my movies. I like my books. I like my restaurants. I like my heating and air conditioning choices. And the list goes on and on.
I want others to be conscious of me. I want them to be aware of me and my likes. I want others to be willing to set aside their likes so my likes can be the focus. I want to be first.
This is a battle that wages within me. The desire to be first. The longing for everything to be about me and my likes. I will admit it. Deep down I struggle with being self-absorbed.
Let’s be honest, I have a lot on my plate. When do I have time to really listen to and help someone else? My dance card is full with stuff I want to do with my time. When I go somewhere, I don’t want to wait on someone else. I want a speed pass. How nice would that be? I want to go right to the front of the line at restaurants, movies, etc, etc.
It was not that long ago that my mind was dominated with this style of thinking. I lived my life completely and totally unaware of those around me. I was caught up in my own little world. The really sad thing about it was that I was unaware of the fact that I was unaware. I was unaware that I was living my life all about it me. It was just how I lived.
And to top it off, I was going to church. I claimed to be a follower Christ. I heard messages telling me I need to put others first. I read the Bible and it told me to put others first. But I definitely was not living what I was learning. Why was I not getting it? Why after all these messages and all this time reading God’s Word was it not showing up in my actions?
Then one day it hit me. I had head knowledge, but I lacked a heart change. Listen to Paul’s words in Romans chapter 7, But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time. (Romans 7:17-20, The Message)
Paul, like me, knew what he needed to do. However, his head knowledge did not translate into a heart change. He, just like me, was self-absorbed. However, there is hope! Paul and I found the solution! Listen to his words as he continues in Romans chapter 7, I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question? 25 The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different. (Romans 7:24-25, The Message)
Did you catch it? The antidote to a self-absorbed life is found in Jesus Christ. The key is that you don’t just know about Him, you really know Him. You allow yourself to get to a place where Jesus is more than just someone who you hear or read about. He is someone you know. He is someone you put first in your daily agenda. You can only really get to know someone by spending time with him. And the more time you spend in Jesus presence, the more you will become like Him.
So if you claim to be a follower of Christ, but are struggling with being self-absorbed. Listen to the words of Paul and seek Jesus. Seek Him in a ways you have never have in the past. Press in. Set that time aside and see what He can do. Let Him change you in ways that you never thought possible. He is the ultimate example of putting the likes of others ahead of His own likes. And He and He only, is the true antidote to a self-absorbed life.