I’ve been thinking how much an Ego negatively effects our lives.
I am in a place, now, that I am able to recognize and acknowledge my struggle with ego and how it’s effected my life, faith and sense of self worth.
Though I wasn’t aware of it, at the time. Now I reflect back, to what I believe was one of my first struggles with ego.
I was a short and scrawny kid that fixated his mind on succeeding in a sport that was dominated by much taller, more talented and gifted athletes. Though I feel that I reached a little higher than most expected me to do so, it came at a price. A price that has effected me in many areas of my life.
Today, I am trying to be very conscious of ego’s nasty head trying to rise up and take prominence in any area of my life. As I’ve gotten older, it’s a little easier to recognize. Or maybe it’s not because of my age, but because it’s a topic I’m more keenly aware of these days. (Because I know plenty of “grown up’s” who don’t seem to realize their ego is alive and well). Ego is a character and personality killing enemy, that can completely rob you of truth.
You see, ego can and will rob you of the truth of your self-worth and your true identity.
You are not successful because you’ve successfully founded a business or earned loads of money. You are not who you are because of your status in society. Or because your position within your career has brought you a level of popularity. You are not above your neighbors because your kids aren’t in prison or on drugs. You aren’t better than others just because your marriage hasn’t ended in divorce. And your identity or self worth is in no way associated with your credit score.
But your ego will try to convince you other wise. Just like my ego had convinced me that I was, who I was, because of basketball.
In basketball, my ego drove me. I was successful, if I played well and proved that I was better than the next guy. But it was short lived because I’d have to prove it all over again the very next day. Or the next time someone said or thought other wise. And if I didn’t do as well proving it the next day, then my self-worth was worthless. I’ve even felt myself feeling the need to defend my playing ability 30 years after my days on the court. And That’s pathetic! But recently, when someone gave their opinion, that I wasn’t that good “back in the day” (or as good as they were), I had this urge to defend myself and prove I was who I was. That’s seriously pathetic and what ego will do to you.
We can easily buy into the lie, that our ego’s give us. The lie that…
“We Are-Who We Are” because of:
what we do,
what we did,
what others think of us,
or what we have.
But that is simply a lie. Ego robs us of truth.
The truth is…
What defines us should be our true self, that God created. Not the one striving so hard to be accepted by others. But the one created by God himself. The one who is valuable simply because God loves them. Not because of what they have or don’t have.
The acronym for ego is (Edging God Out). And that is such a good word picture for it. Because that’s exactly what ego tries to do. It edges God out of the way, so we have to do it, we have to accomplish it, we have to be good enough.
Sadly, my struggle with ego continued on into my ministry. For years, I was who I was, because I spoke at this event or this many events a year. Or because this many people gave their lives to the Lord at something I spoke at. Or because of the Christian “celebrities” I got to meet or hang out with (which is one of the most pathetic things we create as the church, in my opinion). My self worth or identity seemed to be based upon “how” my ministry was doing. Or what others opinions were about my ministry or speaking ability.
But after my divorce and the seven long years between then and now, I have struggled with a roller coaster of emotions regarding my self worth and my identity. Mainly because my ego kept telling me, “I was who I was because of what I accomplished in ministry”. That’s what made me successful. Which in turn meant that because it had seemed to all come to an excruciating halt, I was not successful any longer. And that has been a secret war waging in my soul and mind for several years.
Because, now I know, that…
*I am who I am, because of Christ. Not because of my own accomplishments or the opinions of others.
*I am successful, because God can’t be anything but successful. And if I’m in Him and He in me, that’s what make me a success.
*My self worth and identity is solely based on (and because of) Christ. Nothing else. Not your opinion of me, not my level of popularity and not any amount of money.
I now, see ego everywhere I go. I see it rise up in me (and I try to quickly try to choke it of the fuel it needs to survive or thrive).
I see it in sports stars, hollywood celebrities, junior high students, high school coaches, grocery store clerks, business owners, politicians, preachers, the president and parents.
Ego doesn’t care who you are or what you do. It only wants to rob you of knowing the truth of who you really are and what truly gives you value.
If you recognize a struggle with your ego rising up in your own life, do yourself a favor, own up to it and do whatever you need to, to get rid of it. It isn’t your friend and it will only rob you of your true identity and self worth. Not to mention, force you to spend needless time proving yourself to others, who aren’t any better or successful than you are. And who aren’t impressed with your outcome anyways.