The self-centred life loves to be noticed by others. It loves the praise of men, and is evidently delighted when it is the sole object of admiration. It loves the highest place and draws attention to itself perpetually in one way or another. The self-centred Christian looks for opportunities to tell others of what he has done for the Lord – perhaps in a very pious way but secretly expecting their appreciation. And he is very unhappy and uneasy when someone else succeeds or has done something better than he has.
The self-centred person is easily upset and touchy. He longs to be recognized by others and to be consulted for his opinions. In fact he would be quite offended if he were not consulted in a committee meeting, for example. He has such a high opinion of himself that he loves to talk and talk and talk, thinking that everyone else needs his valuable advice! There are Christians who, once they open their mouth, find it difficult to shut it again; and who keep on talking not realizing that everyone else around is nauseated. An uncontrolled tongue is one of the marks of an un-crucified self-life.
The self-centred Christian does not know how to take the second place graciously and joyfully. He is upset when someone else is given the leadership and he himself has to play second fiddle. The only time that he is willing to take the second place is when he knows that thereby he can step into the first place on the retirement of the leader!
It was said of the German Kaiser that he always wished to be the centre of attraction in every place. If he went to a christening, he’d wish he were the baby; if he went to a marriage; he’d wish he were the bride; and if he went to a funeral, he’d wish he were the corpse! Let us not forget that his heart was no worse than ours.
Self-centredness in a man makes him draw the attention of others to himself, even in the most sacred of activities – whether it be preaching a sermon or even praying to God! A self-centred Christian leader will hinder the spiritual growth of those to whom he ministers – for he draws people to himself and not to Christ. A true man of God will always draw people beyond himself to Christ. This is what God calls each of us to do. But how few actually do this.
An extract from bro. Zac book, Beauty to Ashes. Copyright – Zac Poonen. No changes whatsoever are to be made to the content of the article without written permission from the author: CFCIndia
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