“I know that sounds very self-centered…”
“She tells me that when I get up each morning, the first thing I do is take a drink at the well of self-centeredness…”
“My ex-husband says I’m the most self-centered person he’s ever met….”
I had three conversations with friends this week and they apologized for being “self-centered”.
Knowing these friends well, I had a different conclusion: they weren’t self-centered at all, it was that their accusers were feeling unfairly treated and had gone on the attack.
Matthew 16:13-16 is a glaring example of our struggle with self-centeredness. Jesus had just blessed Peter for recognizing that He was the Messiah and then shares with all the disciples the suffering and death that awaits Him in Jerusalem. “And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” Jesus responds: “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s”.
Jesus identified Peter’s outburst as coming directly from Satan. Satan deceives us into thinking that we are only serving ourselves when in fact sometimes we are serving the world, the flesh and the devil. As Christians we have a different worldview and Jesus confronts us from the cross where He followed His Father’s will to His death.
It is not self-centered just because you are advantaged in a decision and another human is disadvantaged. The only question to ask yourself: “Have I set my mind on God’s interests?”
God has made us in His image and wants for us to have good things in life. Keep open the possibility that when something is God’s will it may be good for you, too! God makes hard decisions that sometimes may cause others to feel disadvantaged, but it isn’t self-centeredness when you are following God’s will.
The next time you are accused of being self-centered, ask only one question, “Is this God’s will?”
When the answer is “Yes,” it’s not self-centered, it’s God-centered.
Blessings, my friend,