We joined a Bible study about a month ago. It meets on Sunday during the first service, so we go to that, then head on in to the second service. The leader is on vacation now, so I was asked to speak this Sunday. I think it’s primarily because I’m unemployed and have the time to develop a lesson, but I knew almost instantly what I’d talk about: taking your value from how God thinks of you instead of how you think of yourself.
Almost as soon as I accepted the invitation, however, my ego started creeping in, filling my head with visions of my speech being so enjoyed that people talked to the pastor about it, then he talked to me and invited me to share the message with the congregation and BOOM! my speaking career is born. I would love to speak to people all around the country and tell them how much they’re worth to God and how they don’t have to earn their value anymore. I’d love to help them overcome their slavery to their jobs, relationships, grudges, etc. But there’s a part of me that I can’t seem to get rid of that insists I should get some sort of glory for this.
I’ve been fighting these thoughts all week, praying for God to take my ego away from me. This morning, I asked why it was so hard, and He told me, “Because you feed your ego all day. How much time do you spend with Me?” I hadn’t thought about it like that before, but in all the games I play, I try to win so I can enjoy a victory or reward. When I work out, it’s more about Leah finding me attractive than it is about being in shape so I can live a longer, fuller life. When I post on Facebook, I check to see how many likes I’ve gotten. I had become so used to doing these things that I didn’t even consider how much my ego was involved with them.
I’ve been feeding my ego so much that I don’t even realize I’m doing it anymore. Meanwhile, my faith and my relationship with God have been getting by on the one light meal a day of Bible-reading and prayer time, plus the more substantial meal that it enjoys Sunday morning.
Whenever a new situation comes up, I often judge it based on my moral view of myself. “I can’t believe they did that!” “What’s going through their heads?” Sometimes, I realize why they’re probably doing what they’re doing and pray for them, but it’s not nearly as often as it should be. In my deceptive, selfish, incorrigible heart, I’d rather feel good about myself than help others. And I feed that part of me more than I feed my faith, more than I grow my relationship with God.
I need to no longer care what becomes of my lesson on Sunday, whether it’s rejected by everyone or is used by God to change lives. I need to no longer care whether any of you fine people follow my blog or like my posts. I need to speak Sunday and blog here because I love God and because I love others and want to help them. Feeding my ego is a waste of everyone’s time, whether what I do is done well or poorly.
I’m going to, with God’s help, leave my ego behind. It’s an awfully heavy thing to carry around anyway, after all that eating.