…cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. Gen 3:17b, 19a ESV
It takes a while for a baby to realize that he’s his own person! By observing the differences between himself and others his perception of his own uniqueness and individuality grows. As the child learns to respond appropriately to his world his “ego” develops – the controlling and acting “I” as well as the way that “I” is perceived. This, of course, is a necessary and important process in order to live our lives. We do need to exert control, to have ego-strength and a clear sense of who we are – a healthy self-concept. There’s nothing wrong with that, but the problem is that this process is undermined by sin, as is everything in our sinful world. Our aim to be a unique self can easily become selfishness, our need to have control can become controlling. As we “succeed” in taking charge we can become self-centred, arrogant, loveless and hard. The “I” can dominate so much that later everything is about me, me, me! Me and my needs, me and my wants. This egoism is the enemy of true spirituality and true living, in fact. God called us to a life of love, service and sacrifice, which is quite the opposite!
Heavenly Father, teach me to be strong in the world, but gentle towards people. Help me to take control, but also be able to submit. Amen.
Pay attention to your egoism!
These devotions are part of a series on discipleship. Follow the whole series!
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