I Just Want People to Think I’m Amazing
Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Philippians 2:9-11
Whenever I hear about someone like Mother Teresa, who is well-respected and admired by millions, there’s always a part of me that wants the same kind of respect and admiration. The problem of course, is that I don’t want to move to Calcutta, live in poverty, or make any personal sacrifice. If I’m honest, what I’m saying is that I want people to think I’m great, without doing any of those great – but difficult – things. I’m not in it for the good deeds themselves. I’m in it for the good feeling I’d get from the admiration. It’s not about helping others, it’s about feeding my ego.
In the verses preceding todays’ however, Paul said that to follow Christ was to consider others better than ourselves, looking to their interests above our own. As an example, he pointed to Christ who lived and died serving others. In today’s passage though, Paul said that, because of Jesus’ obedience, humility, and sacrifice, his name has been exalted above all other names, that every knee should bow before him.
That only reinforces my previous theory – that if I want respect and authority, I’m going to have to embrace some humility and sacrifice. Now, the only question is – How long do I have to be humble and how much must I sacrifice before I get my promised reward? In thinking like this, I betray that I’m still simply seeking myself. I may be sober, but it’s still natural for me to want to live a self-centered life – even if I must pretend not to be self-centered to get there.
I’m purposefully exaggerating about my hunger for power and praise, but you get my point. In writing a blog and in helping those with addictions, I must continually check my motives, and honestly, they’re not always pure. Because I’m still flawed, I still struggle with pride. Daily, I must purposefully choose humility and service if I want to continue working on my faith and recovery.
The truth is, we’re not promised success, approval, or power, just because we obey God. Our job isn’t to seek our own glory, but to obey God, seeking the good of those he’s put in our path, and leaving the results up to him. I find that when I do this, I’m far happier than when I’m seeking applause. I think Paul too was happier in his obedience, even though he wrote today’s passage from prison.