Devotional Thought of the Day:
1 If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— 2 then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. 3 Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. 4 Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. Philippians 2:1-4 (MSG)
Some pressing difficulties can be remedied immediately. Others, not so quickly. But they all are solved if we are faithful: if we obey, if we observe what has been laid down. (1)
It may seem to some that my post title is said in jest, using the formula of the various x-anonymous groups.
I would have you know, it is not said in jest, I can be, and often am, as narcisstic as any person on the face of the planet, and while I am not proud of it, I must recognize it. I must confront it, cofness it, and pray to God that he would help me lay down the idol of “self”. And as with recovery programs, it is this very thing, admitting our need of God, that is our beginning step to healing.
You see narcicism is a pretty lonely life, at best, even if it is “safer” than investing ourselves in others. Fulfillment doesn’t come at the being the best we can be, if we are alone when we achienve it.
We weren’t made ot be alone, or to be he center of our own universes. We weren’t made to live on the defensive, paranoid and hardened against hurt.
We were made in the image of Christ. And we were re-created in that very image as well, created (Eph. 2:10) to be His masterpice, specifically set aside for living life as He did… sacrficially, doing good things He has planned.
It’s not easy, leaving behind our narcissism, confessing our sin, asking God to use as He designs…. It requires we see ourselves nailed to the cross, united with Christ’s death and resurrection. It requires that we live in Christ and die to self, to become living sacrifices. Yet this is what Romans is all about, and this great passage from Philippians, and Eph.5:21 and following as it deals with the relationships of husband and wife, parents and children, bosses and employees. It is what 1 JOhn is about, when it talks of us loving our neighbor, and James when it talks about faith and works. It is Christ’s life, and this life we who trust in Him are called and made right and holy to live. This is what, as St Josemaria says, is laid down.
There is a sense of irony here, for if the goal of the narcissist is self-fulfillment, self protection, to succeed at it, the narcissist has to set himself aside… drop the defenses, and invest themselves totally in others.
That is what our faith, our trust, our confidence in God enables us to do, for we find our life, alive in Christ.
Lord have mercy on us…. and help us realize that you separated us in baptism, from our narcissism.
(1) Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 1718-1719). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
- Who is more faithful to the faith? Wrong question! (justifiedandsinner.com)
- To prepare servant leaders… (justifiedandsinner.com)