What do people who are enamored with their own beauty, wealth, and influence have in common with those who loathe themselves? Focus. They can’t keep their eyes off of themselves. This morning I read a sentence in Oswald Chamber’s Devotional that really made me think of this:
I can be so rich in poverty, so rich in the consciousness that I am nobody, that I shall never be a disciple of Jesus; and I can be so rich in the consciousness that I am somebody that I shall never be a disciple.
Both mindsets spring from the same source: Self. Truly getting over one’s self is a major goal of salvation! God must save us from ourselves. We are in bondage to a self-centeredness, a self-focus, a delusion that somehow I am central to my own welfare and happiness.
This was the real result of the forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden. “You will be like God…” “Then their eyes were opened….” After sin, they can’t get their eyes off of themselves! So they must create a world that serves the development and worship of their new image.
Self-exaltation and self-deprecation are twins. They both come from the same womb.
Only the Cross of Jesus Christ can deliver from this wickedness.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live but Christ lives in me; and the life I live in this body I live by faith in the Son of God who gave Himself for me. (Gal 2:20)
For the power of self-centeredness to be broken, one must subject himself/herself to the grave. The braggert and the melancholy both cease their claims upon death. But then who really wants to die? So we look for new ways to cope. Meanwhile the One who defeated death and the grave waits. He is waiting to live His life in and through us…whenever we are willing to truly get over self.
But the addiction to this world full of mirrors is a strong one. Just can’t seem to get our eyes off of human flesh.
But here’s a little clue that might be of help. What if, upon looking into the mirror, you one day see a Person so beautiful, so glorious, and so free, that you are filled up with joy and peace and indomitable hope? And what if upon looking into the mirror you are caused to forget yourself and be consumed with the beauty of Another?
Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. (Col 3:2-4)
Selah. Just ponder the metaphor for a few minutes. You have died and your life is now hidden. You’ve been taken out of the way and folded into Another. You no longer live independantly of Him. You no longer have an isolated, self-centered identity. The old man is dead.
When the Father in heaven looks at you He sees the glory of Jesus. As we begin to see as He sees, then we are close to getting over ourselves.
This is only possible by truly coming to Jesus Christ and surrendering your life. It’s a “great exchange”. His life for yours. He doesn’t make deals or agreements. Have you come to Him…to die…so that you may finally live?