Your unchecked ego is your enemy. Don’t let it trick you into believing any differently. Your ego actually works against you, like when using complex language that nobody understands. Instead of people oohing and aahing over your clever verbal skills, they actually pause and go, Huh? Because our ego craves positive reinforcement, it constantly looks for or creates situations that will affirm our intelligence, our quick wit, or our beautiful physique, to name a few.
Ego is the part of our personality that reacts to the world only by how we perceive it. Whatever we believe to be true about ourselves is true. If we’re told something contrary to whom or what we think we are, we, in the words of Colonel Nathan Jessup, can’t handle the truth. The reason is simple. The ego never wants to accept the truth and is influenced by tons of factors: early human development, environment, self-worth, self-esteem, self-confidence, and pride, etc. Stress might be there too, like the cherry on top of the sundae. (I’m always offering my cherry to someone else)
Jerome Kagan, Ph.D., professor emeritus of psychology at Harvard, says: We’re just beginning to understand the ego. There are no firm facts yet. We have some hints, but at this point everything is up for grabs. Everything? (Picture me rubbing my hands together with delight.) Well, Mr. Kagan, why make a mountain out of a mole hill? It’s simple. Since the fall of mankind, all humans are driven to get what they want at any cost to others or even to themselves. It’s called pride. To me, pride and ego are synonymous and are motivated by what’s in one’s heart or self.
What we need is to pray to God asking Him to reveal His truth about us to us. And believe me, He will. But we really don’t want to know, do we? We don’t want Him to tell us that we’re selfish and mean-spirited. We don’t want to hear that we dishonor our parents and that we lack empathy. We’re deaf to the fact that we’re unkind and power-hungry. Don’t say that we’re unforgiving and unaccepting of others. We will plug our ears and scream when we hear that we’re lazy procrastinators and people-pleasers. Why? Because our egos we can’t bear that some or all of these accusations, while harsh, are true about us. To be our best self and to overcome this ego-driven, self-serving monster, we simply must see who we really are, and then commit to a true and lasting change of heart.
- Pray to God for ears to hear and eyes to see our true, messy self.
- Pray to be broken in spirit about what we discover, and then confess any sins He reveals to you.
- Surrender it all to God. Ask Him to be the Lord of your life from this day forward.
- Pray for the Holy Spirit to nudge you when you’ve stepped off the path into the enemy’s territory.
- Read the Bible to see how the most selfless and perfect Man, Jesus Christ lived, and then try to live like that.
- Search out a Bible-believing church to attend.
- Get support; allow people you trust to tell you if they see a problem in you.