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