Are You Self-Centered?
by Barry Bennett
What is self-centeredness?
It is focusing on one’s perceived needs and wants over all else. It is always the result of the perception of self being deprived of something it wants. That want could be a thing, a person, a job or recognition.
Self-centeredness exalts self over God and feelings over faith. It is self-centeredness that turns a want into a need and then that need into a personal crisis. Self-centeredness is the source of stumbling and sin in our lives.
Jesus had an opportunity to be self-centered in the garden before His arrest.
“He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, ‘O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.’” —Matthew 26:39
Jesus resisted the opportunity to put His will above that of the Father.
Self-centeredness will tempt us to throw away what we want most in life (love, peace, joy, health, lasting relationships) to get what we want now (expensive products, sex, glory, etc.). Self-centeredness can quickly destroy your future. Your life will follow your focus, and if you focus on yourself, you will never be free to live out your purpose in Christ.
“But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.” —James 3:14-16
Self-centeredness bears the fruit of confusion and evil. It is sowing to the flesh, and corruption is the result. There is grace to be free of self-centeredness! Every day is the opportunity for a new beginning in which we take our eyes off of ourselves and stop blocking the blessings of God.
When God’s purpose is your pursuit, your life will have meaning, your joy will be real, your faith will be persistent and your love will be true.