Just Me First, Alone

I’ll never learn to be just me first, by myself. — Carly Simon

There was a young man. He had never seen a picture of himself. Obviously this story takes place long before selfies when we broadcast our pictures to the world ad nauseam. But really, he had never seen himself. Then, looking into a still pond, he saw a young man so beautiful that he had to meet him. He could not, of course. He fell in love with his own reflection. His love for himself killed him. His name was Narcissus.

I guess this selfie craze reveals much about us at this time. Of course, it’s partly because it’s new technology. But, do you know anyone who seems overboard with pictures of themselves, by themselves?

Have you ever been around someone who talks on and on about themselves and the people and events that affect them? You try to interject–even just words of understanding or acknowledgement–and then realize that they aren’t listening to you. They are wrapped up in themselves.

Have you ever been in a group when two or more talk about themselves and their lives–at the same time? And they don’t seem to notice that no one is listening?

None of us lives to ourselves alone. — Paul, Romans 14:7

The ancient Greeks were excellent observers of personality types. The myth of Narcissus lent the name to a current personality disorder–Narcissism. Popularly, the term broadens to those who perhaps don’t qualify for diagnosis but are still annoying.

Paul, no stranger to those Greek myths himself, knew that there is a danger lurking in the depths of our hearts when we focus too much on ourselves.

He was teaching us at that point in Romans after he had built up the argument to the introduction of grace and then answered the question, “So, what?” His teaching was that now that we are living in grace, we don’t live for ourselves. We live for God. We also live for others–look at his words of having empathy for others in the same chapter.

Paul never stopped with the self-centered thought–It’s all about me and my salvation. That was only the beginning. Life is what happens next. And that is about how you love and serve others.

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