Last week, a girlfriend came over to pick up one of my favorite books of all time, Humility by Andrew Murray. As she looked at the cover, she asked incredulously, “When did life become all about me? I’m consumed with myself.” She went on to tell me that she recently broke off an engagement because she realized that self-absorption and marriage just don’t mix. She’s absolutely right. I applaud her self-awareness because most of us have no idea just how consumed we are with ourselves. I shuddered when the depth of my own pride became abundantly clear one day.
Exactly when did life become all about us? I believe it started in the Garden of Eden. The same tricks satan used to ensnare Eve at the beginning of mankind, still work brilliantly today. The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life get us every time. Pride, in essence, says: ‘It’s all about me. I don’t need God. I can do it myself.’ This sense of self-sufficiency is rampant in today’s culture.
The media, social media and the “selfie” culture do a great job in promoting that spirit of pride. Our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts are the first things we look at in the morning and the last things we look at night and all day in between. We beg people to “like us” and “friend us” and “follow us” when all the while Jesus is asking us to love Him and friend Him and follow Him.
Our society breeds people who want to be exalted. To our detriment, the virtues of meekness, servanthood, and humility have become laughable in today’s world and virtually non-existent in the church. Contrary to popular culture, it’s not about you. You were not created for your own pleasure. You were created by God for His pleasure. Until you realize this, life will be very frustrating.
Jesus’ teachings on pride and humility are vast and clear:
“Whoever exalts himself will be humbled and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 14:11
“There are the last who will be first and the first who will be last.” Luke 13:30
“Whoever desires to be great among you, let him be your servant.” Matthew 20:26
“Learn from Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart.” Matthew 11:2
“God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble”. James 4:6.
“Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5
In the Kingdom of God, the way up, is down and the way down is up.