The more I feed your ego, the more I starve your soul

I wrote that in my journal Tuesday afternoon. I was sitting on a sofa, looking at the piles of work on my heart. It’s buried among a bunch notes and lists and descriptions and projects.

But here’s what I think it means.

It is possible for me to feed your ego. Not here. I mean one on one. I can build up your reputation. I can raise expectations about how good you are, about how people should talk to you. And you can do that for me.

Or maybe I should say to me.

Because every time I increase expectations on you, I may make you feel better, more needed, more affirmed. But I also am creating more for you to live up to. And that kind of pressure can starve the soul. We worry about living up to what people want from us and we forget the quiet cultivation of a healthy soul, nurtured not by crowds but by quiet conversation with God.

Paul and Barnabas showed up in Lystra one day. They healed a guy who had been lame. Immediately, the crowd said they were gods. In fact, the priest of Zeus showed up with sacrificial bulls.

Paul immediately tried to stop it: “Friends, why are you doing this? We too are only human, like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them.”

But it was hard. People want to worship something that looks like it works. They want to be identified with a hero, to ride the coattails. I understand. I do it too. And I’m feeling pretty convicted.

People make lousy gods. We make great people, but we make lousy gods.

Here’s the video version: Ego and soul

2 thoughts on “The more I feed your ego, the more I starve your soul

  1. Rich Dixon

    This is a real challenge to anyone who’s trying to build a community around Jesus. It gets awfully easy to forget who’s at the center of the circle. It’s kinda fun when they show up with bulls–not so much when the stones fly. But either way, it doesn’t work if we let them put anyone other than Jesus in the center.

    Wow, that sounds nice and simple. So why do I keep looking for folks who’ll make me a little bit of a god?

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  2. Cathy Schrock

    Been reading “Pagan Christianity” by Barna/Viola, “So You Don’t Wanna Go To Church Anymore” by Colsen. These books expand on that idea to the enth degree. By stroking egos of clergy and buying into the thought that we don’t have to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, we have changed, over the centuries, the meaning of “Church” so much that Jesus doesn’t even recognize it any more as His Faithful Church. Paul et al went, preached, made converts, baptized, set up Elders, and went on their way to their next assignment from the Lord. The “church” continued meeting in homes, sharing meals, encouraging each other, sharing the Word, singing songs, and all this without a pastor or a building. Just like the Israelites who sent Moses to meet God on the mountain because they were afraid to know Him personally, we don’t remember how to spend quiet time with God. Or worse yet, we have never been taught to spend quiet time with God each day! We send young men off to seminary, then pay them to do it for us. I see God moving in tremendous ways all over the world, yet America remains so faith-less, distracted, and asleep that relatively few miracles can take place in our midst. May God continue His work to wake up His Faithful Church in these last days! There is only One God, One Bridegroom, and He has done everything for us, given us everything we need for life & godliness. He loves us with an unending, limitless, infinite love. He is returning for a spotless bride and will accept no substitutes.

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