Self-centered verses Godly Centered
You shall have no other gods before me.Exodus 20:3
The following is a quote by Dr. Timothy Jennings in his book titled: Could it be this Simple – A Biblical Model for Healing the Brain. “Selfishness is the destructive element infecting the mind. It is not present in the mind originally designed by God, but has become an infecting agent, an intruder, contaminating our mental faculties, and destabilizing their function. Without God’s intervention and plan to heal the mind, humanity’s condition would be hopeless.” We can all experience the infection of being self-centered if we analyze the thoughts we have concerning ourselves. This infection is revealed in three ways, For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (1 John 2:16)
How does being self-centered negatively affect us? The spiritual effect of being self-centered is that God considers us prideful, because we have become our own god . You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. (Exodus 20:2-4) This is the first commandment and if we continually break this law it will destroy our Christian lives. But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” (James 4:6) When we break the first commandment, we are considered prideful and God will oppose us.
Being self-centered will destroy our spiritual lives and can also have negative effects on our psychological and physical health, because we are not living as God designed us to live. Dr. Caroline Leaf in her book titled, Switch on Your Brain, states the following: “When we distort love and truth we wire perversion into our brains and, in a sense, create brain damage. This is not an exaggeration, because our brains are wired for love, not fear, and therefore the circuits – neurochemical, neurorophysiological, neurobiological, electromagnetic, and quantum – are geared up for healthy, non toxic, thinking. If we allow ourselves to learn fear, it creates chaos-and also affects our physical health.” We are wired for a mind of love and truth, not a mind that is self-centered. Dr. Leaf has stated that “75 to 98 % of mental, physical, and behavioral illness comes from one’s thought life”
How do we overcome the self-centeredness we inherited from Adam? We all suffer with self-centeredness to some degree. If we closely examine our thoughts we can determine if they are more centered on God and others, or more centered on ourselves. Being self-centered can be a difficult habit to break even for seasoned Christians, but we are greatly helped by trusting the Spirit to guide us in our main purpose of reflecting Christ to everyone. When we realize our life’s mission is to serve the Lord by being a witness to the world, it tends to destroy our selfish nature.
Today be aware of when your thoughts are leading to self-centeredness. Remember that we can pray for the Lord’s help and guidance in our lives so that we may bring glory to God. Praying for the Lord’s help and guidance shows our dependence on him; we can do everything for his glory, and minster to others with his love and compassion. Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. (Colossians 3:23-24) How can we do everything with all of our hearts without asking for the Lord’s help and guidance? When our thoughts are pleasing to God, then we are not being self-centered.
Let’s Pray: Lord, guide my thoughts so they are pleasing to you. Help me to be aware when my thoughts or emotions reveal a self-centered attitude. Fill my heart with love and compassion and keep my mind connected to you through the Spirit’s guidance. Let the Spirit convict me whenever my mind heads toward self-centeredness. In Jesus name, Amen