When I was in first grade we were given a coloring book. Each page was designed to help us share and not be me-centered. Why is it so hard for children to learn to share? We are born with a sin nature.
I mentioned narcissists yesterday. Psychology says that it is a personality disorder. What does the Bible say? John 6:63 says that our flesh profits nothing. A biblical definition for narcissistic behavior would be: me-centered, selfish, self-idolatry, my way is the only way, and pure ego rooted in sinful words and actions.
What is Christ-centered? I had a favorite hymn when I was young that was my theme song. It is called “Others” and is a prayer. The chorus is: Others, Lord, yes others. Let this my motto be. Help me to live for others, that I might live for Thee.”
Galatians 5:16 says, “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” Can a true believer in Christ be a narcissist? Yes. When we seek our own way and demand that others follow us.
Proverbs 10:17 Amplified showed the contrast between being Christ-centered or self-centered. It says, “He who heeds instruction and correction is (not only himself) in the way of life (but also) IS a way of life for others. And he who neglects or refuses reproof (not only himself) goes astray (but also) causes to err and is a path toward ruin for others.”
Paul wrote to the Corinthians to follow his example. 1 Corinthians 11:1 says, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” Paul patterned his life after the life of Christ. As we read the four gospels, we can watch Jesus in action.
A person who lives in their flesh refuses all correction. They see nothing wrong in their behavior, because they are deceived and do not know it. Hebrews 3:13 warned, “…lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”
Romans 8:5 says, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.” Romans 6:11 says, “Likewise you also, reckon yourselves dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Self-denial is a high watermark of an authentic follower of Jesus. I encourage you to read chapter one of 1 John. Jesus’ disciples personally walked with Jesus. Verse 1 says, “…which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life.”
John 1:14 says, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” 1 John 2:6 says, “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as Jesus walked.”
We gain our understanding of how Jesus walked as we daily read our Bibles. It is through His word that we become acquainted with Him. As we abide in Him, He abides in us, and draws us into intimate communion with Himself.
2 Corinthians 3:18 says that as we gaze upon the Lord, we are transformed, “…into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” Colossians 1:9-11 was Paul’s prayer for the folks in the Colosse church.
It is our template for being Christ-centered. Verse 9 says, “…that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” I will continue this tomorrow.