I can’t recall what was being discussed but I do remember the words: “Debbie, it’s not all about you.” I stare across the room at my fellow missionary. Does he really believe I think everything is about me? Am I that way? Lord, what do you say?
It didn’t take long for the Lord to answer. I was browsing through my news feed and came to this article: Our Consuming and Crushing Snare. The picture with it was what caught my eye. It read, “It’s all about me, me, me…” As I began to read, I saw myself all over the screen:
-I am preoccupied by the opinions of others.
-I am judging others because I am assuming what their thoughts, motives, character and intentions are towards me.
-I am prideful.
Gulp. There I said it. I am prideful. The author writes:
Preoccupation with what others think is pride.
I hate it. God hates it. It elevates man and me to a position that should only be held by God. It is what HE thinks of me that matters not what man may or may not be saying of me. The author points out the answer to what I have termed self-paranoia pride from Tim Keller’s booklet, The Freedom of Self-forgetfulness:
True gospel-humility means I stop connecting every experience, every conversation, with myself. In fact, I stop thinking about myself.
The Apostle Paul knew the secret of self-forgetfulness. He writes in 1 Corinthians 3:3-5a:
But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me…who will bring to light the things now hidden in the darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart.
Paul didn’t care about what others thought of him and he didn’t care what he even thought of himself. It is all about the Lord and HIS opinion. What’s so amazing about His opinion?!! It’s not based on me or anything I do or don’t do but on Christ. Colossians 1: 21-22:
And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him.
So I continue to strive in this life on earth to be pleasing to Him. I have adopted the phrase: “It doesn’t matter” whenever I feel self-paranoia pride coming over me.
Is she talking about me? It doesn’t matter.
Does he really think that of me? It doesn’t matter.
What does the Lord say? This is what truly matters.
Lord, help me to remove my focus off of others and myself and to be completely focused on you and pleasing you. Amen.
Have you had this experience? How have you handled issues of pride that the Lord has exposed in your heart?