I’ve been thinking about the idea of self-worship. How easy is it for us to hold our own selves and emotions so highly that we put ourselves above others? How easy is it for us to feel entitled to being treated with love, respect, compassion, and mercy? How easy is it to become full of pride and vanity?
All too easy. At least, that is something most of us go through and have to be brought out of these things by the Lord.
I think about our culture and the way women expect to be worshiped by men. The whole “because you’re worth it” thing too. Is that still a thing? I have not watched public TV in a while other than PBS Kids. 🙂 We tend to expect people in our lives to fawn over us. Shower us with gifts and praise, and so on. If they don’t then they do not love us. That might seem extreme, but these things happen. The narcissistic mindset of our society.
This entitlement carries into the faith too. Jesus died because you are worth it. That is totally wrong. The only thing we are worth is death. We are worth nothing. Nothing except that Jesus would die for us. Any worth we have only goes so far as we are made useful and loved by the Lord.
This goes into our relationships. If someone hurts our feelings, we can get so upset and lash out in kind. Repay evil for evil, or take things personally when the matter really had nothing to do with us. Why do we do this? It is because we worship ourselves. We think we are worthy of praise, of love, to be treated well. When in reality, we have hurt people. We have treated people terribly. We deserve far worse than we will ever get. We really need to get over ourselves.
I’ve been this way. I’ve felt like my husband did not really love me if he did not do things the way I thought he should. How vain. I’ve thought that because I declared my faith at age 9, then Jesus was obligated to forgive me and raise me from the dead even though I gave little thought for him or my salvation. How foolish. I’ve repaid hate for hate, harsh words for harsher words, and become so upset because I was not treated right. How entitled.
Jesus was without sin, suffered for us and died. He was mocked, beaten, and people still drag his name through the dirt. Yet, he forgives the worst of us if we repent. He does not continue beating us up over past sin. He leads us to truth and freedom. He heals us. He restores us. He did not deserve what he endured. We do. We deserve death. In Christ, we have life. Shouldn’t that mean something about how we treat people? Shouldn’t that humble us?
Shouldn’t the love of the Lord cause us to worry more about how our brother and sister feels than ourselves? Shouldn’t the love of the Lord cause us to love people enough to do what is right, even if it is hard? Shouldn’t the love of the Lord move us towards repentance and forgiveness? Shouldn’t the love of the Lord cause us to love all, not just those who agree with us? Shouldn’t the love of the Lord cause us to seek him?
If we do not love others, then is the love of the Lord in us? If we love ourselves, is the love of the Lord in us?
Maybe his love is there. Maybe we just need to grow up.
I know people who are not self-worshiping. Wonderfully humble, meek, forgiving, and faithful people. I want the Lord to continue working on me so I can be this way too, because no one is worthy of worship but Jesus. We should think about that.