Let Me Count the Ways I Love Me
I Thessalonians 2:6 Nor did we seek glory from people . . .
In the disaster of my addiction, one of the most painful consequences was that everyone knew. My reputation was the last thing I should have been worried about, but still, I desperately desired to protect my ego. That effort was futile of course. My name showed up in the paper. I had to leave my job as an Emergency Room physician. I went to treatment and for months was unable to practice medicine. Everyone knew what I was and what I had done.
In that pain, I realized the purpose and meaning that I had found in other’s opinion of me. I derived great affirmation from being a fine, upstanding physician. When the curtain was pulled back to reveal what a disaster I was, my first concern was not that I needed help, it was for my ruined reputation.
I needed to be humbled. I needed to abandon my pursuit of me.
I thought I learned my lesson, but my pride is not so easily killed. Like a horror movie villain, it just keeps coming back, no matter what I do to it. I have recently realized (again) that all of my activities must be suspect. I can do good things out of good or bad motives. Do I enjoy being a physician so I can help others or because it massages my ego? Do I go to the gym to discipline my flesh or for my appearance? Do I dress up for church out of respect for God or so I look shiny on the outside?
Every behavior and motive must be filtered through this question, Am I doing this to point to me or to God? I must continually accept that this life is not about me. My will and reputation are not at the center of it all. This life is about loving God and doing His will. In my self-focus, I make a mess of life. In turning to God, I pursue and find authentic life.