Self absorption: preoccupation with oneself to the exclusion of others or the outside world, a person that does things primarily for the benefit of themself, puts their feelings first, more concerned with themself than others, gets angry when they don’t get what they want. Self-absorption is a common theme of the thoughts of those with spiritual anxiety. Self-absorption involves paying excessive attention to one self. It’s like a video camera is constantly turned on to you and the picture it transmits to the world is too bright and quite unflattering. Sounds familiar?
In our self-absorption, we generally think “everything is all about us.” This is the first sin, when the serpent deceived Eve into believing him and not obeying God: “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof and did eat” (Genesis 3:6). Eve desired to be wise of her own accord and rebelled against the wisdom of God she was caught up in self-desire and absorbed the words of the serpent. Self-absorption replaces the wisdom of God with the wisdom of the world. Self-absorption must die!
God sometimes allows us to get into situations of testing where our own welfare would be the right and proper thing to consider if we were not living a life of faith; but if you are, you will happily waive your right and let God choose for you. This type of submission is the means of which the natural is transformed into the spiritual by obedience to the voice of God. Whenever we allow preoccupation with self-interests to be made the steering wheel of life, it will inevitably steer our spiritual discernment of the will of God in the wrong direction.
The great enemy of the Christian life of faith in God is not sin, but the good that is not good enough. The good is always the enemy of the best. In the above scripture it would seem the wisest thing in the world for Abraham to choose, it was his right, and the people around him would consider him a fool for not choosing. Many of us do not go on spiritually because we prefer to choose what is right for us instead of relying on God to choose for us. We have to learn to walk according to the standard which has its eye on God. “Walk before Me.”
So how does one address the self-absorption underlying much of our spiritually anxious thinking? First, try experimenting with “putting your spiritual ego on the shelf.” Realize that the rest of the world is not concerned about you or your salvation nearly as much as you may think. Typically, people walk around more focused on their own interests than on you or others; “work out your own salvation.” As difficult as it may be for some to understand everything is not all about me. Remember, “For God so loved the world” (John 3:16), Jesus was given for the world and not any particular lone person.
If your self-absorption and spiritual anxiety interferes with your Christian walk through life, makes you miserable, or keeps you from doing what you know you ought to do, there are treatments that work. Forgiveness is one, it is a gift from God, please seek help and remember to “love thy neighbor as you love thyself.” I thank God for blessing you to be a blessing to someone in Jesus’ name.
Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ
- Self Must Die (thethirdcross.wordpress.com)
- The Man and Woman Sin (christianholisticcenter.wordpress.com)
- Spiritual Maturity: Sensitivity to God’s Ways and Wisdom (Part Three) (lifebrook.wordpress.com)