Nipping at Narcissism
By Shawn Michael Shoup on November 28 2012
Our culture seems to really buy into the "life is all about me" mentality. They think they are entitled to every latest gadget or bit of technology, the most recent clothes, all of the peripherals, a freedom to do whatever they want and an attitude that screams "I am awesome!" to boot.
Now, we really can't place too much blame. These learned responses are largely because it is how our American culture teaches them to behave. A culture that we've helped shape.
Especially when you go back to my generation, the X'ers, you can plainly see the pimping of the whole "live your life the way you want" philosophy. There's nothing wrong with empowerment or a healthy self-identity. But there is a point where the line crosses from empowerment to a selfish sense of entitlement. Statements about this "me mentality" have become poster-graphics plastered all over social networks and are largely viewed as inspirational in nature. That's cool and all, but it bothers me a bit in context.
One of the most often and subtle ways that the enemy tries to influence followers of Christ is to make us believe that life is "all about us". Would you agree that there are a ton of slogan pics and quotes that seem to like lean towards this worldview? I think most post, share and "like" them because they feel empowering -- they make us feel good about ourselves. But maybe it's time to look at this from the other side of the coin, per se.
As believers, our life simply isn't our own. It's surrendered. And everything we do, every choice we make is under the banner of "What do You want me to do, God?" I understand that the world-at-large doesn't see through that lens and that's why they see all of the "me" statements as liberating. But I throw out caution because it is a world bent on pleasing themselves, looking at the opposite sex as objects and doing whatever feels best at the moment. That's the slippery slope I don't want to see us lose a generation to...
Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with Me has to let Me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow Me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for? Matthew 16-24-26 MSG