Self-absorption - Hope 103.2


By David ReayWednesday 25 Sep 2013LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Philippians 2:3-4

3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather,in humility value others above yourselves,4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (NIV)

In Greek mythology,a man called Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. The legend has it that Narcissus was so spellbound by his own image that he eventually died of starvation (or inactivity!). Foolish as that sounds,it does describe in an extreme way our own tendency to be absorbed in our selves.

People are described as ‘narcissistic’ if they are utterly preoccupied with themselves. We can see this in others,and in ourselves if we are honest. The people who don’t really listen to us,who turn each and every conversation into something about themselves. The people who plot and calculate their way through life always asking the question,”How does this affect me? What is in this for me?”

There are people who grieve over loss and sadness but do so because of the impact it has on them not on the others afflicted by the loss or sadness. People who are deeply involved in Christian ministry primarily because it feeds their own insecure egos. All this is a form of narcissism. And what the Bible more brutally calls ‘sin’.

The Christian message reminds us we are all closet narcissists,we all imagine ourselves at the centre of the universe. Some more so than others,but no one is utterly immune from this infection of self-centredness. It is a daily battle to take oneself off centre stage and realise that only Jesus belongs there. We,supporting acts,dare not imagine ourselves to be the stars.

David Reay