How my pursuit of humility turned into self absorption

An example of a conversation with myself:

Me: Hey look, there are a few of the recently married ladies you wanted to get with for coffee. Go over and see when they are free.

me2: What if they think i’m being weird

Me: How is that weird?

me2: I don’t want to come off all arrogant like i have all the answers from my little 6 yrs of marriage so i’m “the one” to talk to

Me: That’s true, you don’t want to be prideful

And there you have it, i’ve talked myself out of doing something that is scriptural for the sake of “humility”

I’ve even been hesitant to want walk across the room or next door to introduce myself because, “Why would they care to know me – what makes me so “important” and what if they think that’s weird? ”

These examples are one of many and have a similar thread – self absorption. A while ago I would have labeled it as timidity or even “false humility” but after discussing it with a friend who explained how it sounded more like self absorption, I agreed.

The definition

self absorption: the preoccupation of oneself to the exclusion of others. (dictionary.com)

My rewording: Thinking too much about myself and what others may be thinking about me, that results in me excluding myself from others.

Can you see that’s what’s happening in the examples above? I was way too busy thinking about me, that I almost missed opportunities to build relationships and serve other people, therefore excluding myself.

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What is worse is that by not doing these things I was also disobeying God’s Word.

Scripture tells us “older” women to teach the younger

Titus 2:2-5; 2 But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine . . . 3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.

Scripture tell us to be friendly and hospitable

Romans 12: 9-13, 9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

After the conversation with my friend, i picked up where i left off in the book “The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness” by Timothy Keller and finally grasped what he was saying – i’m late like that sometimes :/. But God is awesome in His timing! I picked up where i left off reading and it hit home really quickly – actually flooring me. Here are a few quotes from the book;

…the essence of gospel-humility is not thinking more of myself or thinking less of myself, it is thinking of myself less.

True gospel-humility means I stop connecting every experience, every conversation, with myself. In fact, I stop thinking about myself. The freedom of self-forgetfulness. The blessed rest that only self forgetfulness brings.

Friends, wouldn’t you want to be a person who does not need honor – nor is afraid of it? Someone who does not lust for recognition -nor, on the other hand, is frightened to death of it?

Y’all, that last one floored me – felt like a ton of bricks hit me, yet two tons were removed! Seriously, i encourage you to read this book, you can buy a kindle copy for only .99 cents! Yep, 99 cents – that’s a large diet coke at McDonald’s (almost – you will need another penny plus tax, but you get my point).

So where do I go from here?

The Wisdom: Get over myself and stop being so stinking self-aware, to a fault. Become more others- aware.  An others aware conversation would go more like .  .  .

Me: Hey look, there are a few of the recently married ladies you wanted to get with for coffee. Go over and see when they are free. 

me2: What if they think i’m being weird

Me: I know what God desires of me.

Action:  I walk over in the Power of the Holy Spirit and trust God with the outcome

What’s being built: Gospel-humility 

If I continue in this foolishness: I will not experience the freedom of Christ while living out His purposes He planned ahead of time for me, therefore missing out on opportunities to bring God Glory and others missing out on what God wants to do in their lives through me. (wow – the last part of that statement was hard to type – I’m in process)

What about you, what is the evidence in your life that point to self absorption? 

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