This morning, we visited a church we had visited once before. This church has grown exponentially in recent months – 150 new children just since January! One thing in particular that stuck in my mind from today’s message was this statement: “Self-absorption is a disease we can all catch.” How true. I would add to this that it’s also the type of disease that could be classified as a “silent killer”. Check out its definition:
“There are a number of diseases that are known as “silent killers” because they gradually consume you without causing any serious symptoms in the early stages. Regular medical checkups and early diagnosis of unexplained or vague symptoms can safe your life.” – www.wrongdiagnosis.com
I don’t know about you, but self-absorption creeps into my mind/heart with little fanfare. Early on, there is little evidence that my heart is being invaded by this “silent killer”, but given time, the symptoms begin to emerge, such as:
- Instead of asking “What can I do to serve/bless Brian, family and friends?”, I’m asking “What can they do for me?”
- Or better yet, asking “What have they done for me lately?”
- My schedule remains rigid regardless of the needs around me
- Placing unattainable expectations on people
- Becoming easily irritated. Isn’t the root of all irritation self-absorption?
OK. That took less than a minute. sigh. Can you relate?
The key to battling this “silent killer”? It’s found in the above definition – “regular check-ups” and “early detection.” Two verses I put to memory early on were Psalm 139:23, 24: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.” Nobody knows my heart or thoughts better than my Father. Nobody. I trust Him alone to illuminate my deepest motives. It is only when I am regularly asking Him to search, test, know, and lead me, that I am able to discern more quickly those symptoms which desire to consume me.
And the antidote to self-absorption? Jesus summed it up in Mt. 20:28: “…the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”