We usually see everything through our own egocentric agenda. Our preoccupation is “How will this inconvenience me.” or “How will this make me feel?” That doesn’t get us very far. We then twist reality so we can feel good.
—-Richard Rohr from Everything Belongs
How often do you twist reality for the sake of your feelings? Such twisting usually involves your need to feel justified or fulfilled in one obligation or another. John the Baptist said: “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.” The real tricky word in John’s advice is anyone. All of us have someone with whom we are willing to share all that we have. That’s where our agendas come out.
Most of us are taught from a very early age that we are to be responsible and productive. Such teachings and the behavior they produce are very good. The real problem surfaces when we begin to evaluate the worthiness of the recipient of our good will. We don’t want to be inconvenienced or made to feel bad by one of “those” people.
As a result we make excuses and justify our behavior, usually with a spiritual agenda. Something like Proverbs 12:11, “Those who work their land will have plenty to eat, but those who engage in empty pursuits have no sense.” How easy it is to turn your back on the poor ,when you can say the Bible tells us that they have no sense. That verse and so many others come from a larger context of spiritual knowledge that can feed our souls with abundant wisdom. When taken alone, however, they feed our egocentric behavior and act as excuses to neglect our ministry to the less fortunate. Be careful not to twist reality to meet your needs.
Lord help me not to be so self centered as to make up spiritual realities that really serve as idols to me. Rather teach me to be genuine and open to your message. Let each day be a challenge to me. Allow your word to be my strength. May I never flee from a task because it would inconvenience me. Amen
- Self-centeredness and Surrender (gusmeditates.wordpress.com)