If It's Not About Him, It Will Be About Me by Rocky Fleming
I like catchy titles to my books, my blogs and so on. I hope to create a question such as, “Where is he going with this and maybe I’ll read further?” Such is the case with this title. As it is with most of the things I blog on, I share a recent discovery or revelation about something. Here’s what I discovered today, and it will explain the title. If the central focus of my life is not on Jesus and about Jesus, it inevitably becomes a focus on myself and those things that matter to me. How so? It’s basic narcissism.
I feel narcissism begins at infancy, for an infant is all about self which defines narcissism. They cry and scream and make known their needs or wants and nothing else matters to them. That is the birth nature of all of mankind. As we grow older, we tend to include others in our view of our self and that makes us look less narcissistic. But those people in our life revolve around us and our desires, whether they are family friend or enemy, for we are at the center of our life. They simply revolve around us and our wants, even if our wants for them is our point of view.
Now you might confuse a clinical narcissistic person with what I’m pointing out and say I’m off base. You may know a true clinical narcissist and know how they suck all energy and conversation toward them. They make you unhappy to just be around them. They drink you dry with their drama or abuse and blustering. But here is my point. They affect you and you don’t like it, for you are looking out for yourself and you don’t like the way they make you feel. With this illustration can you see how a point of view of what we want, even toward a true narcissist who deserves criticism, returns to us so easily? It happens, for it triggers our own self interests and what we want. What can change this if it’s in our basic birth nature to go there? Now we are asking the right question.
Jesus taught things that made us aware of how far we fall from God’s point of view. The Pharisees and other religious leaders of the day thought they had right behavior and right living figured out only to be shamed by Jesus for being frauds and imposters who misrepresented God’s truths and ways. They were some of the greatest examples of religious narcissists, as they paraded themselves before the people to gain fame and fortune. They were all about a focus on themselves, while they hid their narcissism behind religious apparel. But Jesus knew what they were about, and it disgusted Him. I feel so good about myself when I look at those people until I look myself in the mirror and do an assessment only to find that often I have the same self-focus they did. Why is it this way when I don’t want to be that way? It’s a dilemma and the Apostle Paul pointed it out:
“For I do not understand my own actions.
For I do not do what I want, but
I do the very thing I hate.” Romans 7:15 (ESV)
Paul also pointed out this solution for a way out of his dilemma, and all the propensities to return to his self-driven interests:
“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the
things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit
set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the
mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit
is life and peace.” Romans 8:5-6 (ESV)
To summarize the point I’m making in my title to this blog I’d like to point out that I’ve personably discovered that it is very natural for me to return to my flesh nature if I’m not in the yoke with Jesus (Matthew 11:29). My flesh nature must be restrained by Him, and I must voluntarily seek and put myself in His yoke to learn from Him. I wish it was not that way and that it did not require a constant attention to my soul and my proximity with Him. But that is the problem with the narcissistic nature that we are born with and the world we live in where our life revolves around self and the interests of self. To change this, we must focus our attention on Jesus and our submission to Him. We must make a conscious decision and effort that our life, and those people and interests that we care about, are best impacted by us when our life revolves around Jesus, for indirectly, through our life, they also revolve around Him.
When its about Jesus, it will eventually be about others, and that will bless us much more than it being about our self. He has always been about you and me, for that’s why He died for us. It has always been about us.