**BIG SIGH!** At one time or another, we all act in ways that are self-centered, simply because, as human beings, we are imperfect creatures. But it’s when self-centered behavior saturates all of your interactions with others, all the time, that it becomes part of your personality.
Self-centered behavior, most often looks like this:
- Caring only about your own needs, moods, opinions and wants, and placing these – at all times, above anything else.
- Being unable or unwilling, ever, to see or to consider any perspective other than your own. Being condescending and “smarter” than everyone else around you. (A brilliant know it all.)
- Not really caring, at all, about the needs, feelings, dreams and wants of others. (Not wanting to be your brother’s keeper. “Just deal with it yourself!” attitude.)
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9.
The “Beatitudes” were words spoken by Jesus to his disciples in the Sermon on the Mount. They teach about transformation of the spirit, “the ‘inner person.” The word “beatitude” means, “a state of utmost bliss.”
In His sermon, Jesus described what God has put inside each of us that can allow us to realize or develop a godly state of bliss for our lives. Needless to say, the word “self-centeredness,” did not come up as one of the things in life that can lead to this state of utmost bliss!
Being self-centered, is being out-of-balance in your whole life, because you’re placing far too much emphasis on one individual’s being.
This kind of out-of-balance, out-of-control living can only lead you far far away from the “state of utmost bliss” that Jesus described.
In truly studying the Beatitudes, Jesus provides us with instructions on how He wants us to prepare ourselves — our spirits, our hearts and our souls to be the “light of the world,” as well as for His Kingdom.
Of course He wants us to care for ourselves and our physical and mental well being so that we can be healthy instruments for Him on earth. But, as instruments of God, we have a mission to care not only for ourselves, but also for others.
The key is to learn what Jesus says said about a “state of utmost bliss,” then, is to practice balance and some wise and even “sacrificial” moderation in all things, including our thoughts toward our very self.
You may not think being self-centered is all that bad, because it’s not spoken against directly in God’s “Top Ten” laws for mankind. But being so self-focused that you are not able to focus on other important people and things in your life is a way of taking a huge chunk of your own life away from you.
How? Because living a balanced and fulfilling life means taking care of yourself and reaching out to others — and you cannot do this if you are too centered on you!
In fact, placing too much emphasis on any one factor about yourself is a way of deconstructing the spirit of God that is within you.
I’ll add an additional thought here. Learning to love “you” unconditionally leads to loving others more.
Accepting and embracing God’s love for you should empower you to love yourself, unconditionally. The more you love you, the easier it becomes for you to accept you as you are, and to let go of the need to put all of your efforts into yourself.
Letting go of this “out-of-control need” allows you more time and more desire to focus on the love you have for other people. That is why Jesus told us that the greatest commandment was to love one another.
Ending “self-centeredness” actually allows you to love yourself and others, better.
In His Shadow,
~ Mary Lindow ©
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Mary Lindow has a passion for encouraging others – all generations, careers or vocations to live expressing excellence through personal integrity, healthy accountability, and wise management of talents and skills. She’s a sought after keynote, inspirational, humorous speaker and teacher across the USA and internationally in Ministers & Spiritual leaders Conferences, and training seminars for various organizations.