March 1, 2023 | View PDF
A while back, I was listening to a Podcast and one of the speakers referred to the word “ego” as an anacronym. E-G-O….Edging God Out. For me, and maybe for some of you, this is idea or concept is thought provoking, to say the least.
There’s a story in Greek mythology about a young man named Narcissus. He was a very handsome young man and he knew it. One day he saw his reflection in a stream and he became enamored with the image of himself. He couldn’t pull himself away; he stared into the stream day and night. As the story goes, he became so trapped in his own ego he eventually turned into the Narcissus flower, rooted at the water’s edge.
As believers, we are God’s children. The world looks at us to see a reflection of God and to see what God and his children are like. If we are caught up in ourselves, in narcissism, the watching world will see a marred image. It will see a body of Christ which is selfish, cares nothing for anyone else, and doesn’t believe its own teachings.
“Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real.” – Thomas Merton
My friends, ego is a fickle thing. On one hand, having a deficient ego can cause someone to wallow in self-doubt and lack confidence. On the other hand, someone with an inflated sense of self-worth can be seen as an egomaniac and arrogant. It can be particularly challenging for any of us to successfully find balance. Think about it…how can we be in the world, but not of the world?
The apostle Paul serves as an example. His ministry grew and spread rapidly, yet this was his perspective: “We do not want to boast about work already done in someone else’s territory. But, ‘Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.’ For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends” (2 Corinthians 10:16-18).
Perhaps finding balance is best rooted in seeing ourselves as clothed in God’s grace. Colossians 3:12 reminds us, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” After all, balance is not something you achieve someday; balance is something we should strive for every day.