All About Self
Professional golfer Phil Mickelson is right handed. He does everything right handed: writes, throws, swings baseball bats, etc. He does everything right handed, except golf. His nickname is “lefty.” This phenomenon is born out of the affect of watching and imitating (in a mirror image) his father’s golf swing when he was a child. Seventeen times in the gospel accounts the command to “follow me” is given by the Lord. The illustration of Phil copying his father’s swing to us following Jesus is clear. We must imitate and reflect Him in our lives if we are going to be His disciples.
The rub for mankind is this; we are a selfish and prideful bunch. No one can follow and imitate Christ in their lives while they continue to live for themselves. Jesus calls us to humble ourselves and daily to crucify our own selfish desires in order to follow Him. My friend Sellers Crain wrote that Jesus said in effect, “Get your mind off yourself, and yourself off of your mind” (Matthew 23:11; Luke 14:11; 18:14). He went on to say that there were three things each of us needs to lose:
Selfishness . “Selfish people are immature people.” Babies are cute, loveable, and precious. But no one like’s a big baby! Grown – ups who act like selfish babies are ugly, loathsome, and disfavored. We learn quickly that no one likes the spoiled kid who takes his ball and leaves because he doesn’t get his way. This is not an image that the Lord projects and no one can be a follower of Jesus who is selfish.
Self – centeredness . “The real problem in Eden was that Adam and Eve wanted to be their own god. Pride is the problem.” The Bible warns that pride is destructive and arrogance is deadly (Proverbs 16:18). Pride is not what one sees in the Lord. He came not to do His own will but the Father’s (John 5:30). He lived and died for us and his nature was outward – centered.
Self – consciousness . “The world teaches us, ‘Know thyself.’ Some teach ‘To thine own self be true.’” But to be a follower of Jesus one must come to know Him (Philippians 3:10; 1 John 2:3; 5:20), and “To Him be true.”
Brother Crain goes on to say that there are three principles involved regarding self. We must “give ourselves away,” “deny ourselves,” and “lose ourselves.” When we look into our spiritual mirror what is it that we see? Sadly most see themselves as they have been formed and influenced by Satan and the world. To be followers of the Lord we must look at Him and imitate Him in every aspect of our lives. Submit to His will and be faithful.