Self-Love or Flesh-Love

  1. it makes me sad, the more I have success the more people don’t like me….
  2. OMG i was saying how i couldn’t afford the gas to fly daddy’s jet to the riviera this summer, and this barista totally rolled her eyes at me
  3. Went to the gym this morning. As I left, everyone said I was the best!
  4. The people who say I’m arrogant and shallow don’t see me when I’m at home with my wife. Did I mention that she’s a former swimsuit model?
  5. My step-mom’s mom dying makes me realize that I never want to die. I live such an amazing lifestyle of success, travel,partying & hot girls.
  6. this morning i passed what i thought was a calvin klein ad, but it was just a mirror…how WEIRD!

This is narcissism.  Whether people are being serious or it’s just feigned, these tweets represent the type of self-absorption that psychologists classify as narcissism.  But, so what?  You’ve got to love yourself if you want to get ahead, and you’ve got to love yourself before you love others, right?  If these cultural axioms are true, then you’d think these people would be great at loving others, right?  They are clearly great at loving themselves!  However the feeling I get from the above tweets is that these people would be awful to spend time with.  Their self-absorption precludes them from seeing others therefore making relationships difficult.

The essence of narcissism is found in this failure to see other people.  Narcissists are completely absorbed with themselves.  They can have high self-esteem or low self-esteem; the point is they only think of themselves and they can’t consider the thoughts or feelings of other people.

To me this seems like the essence of what Paul calls living in the flesh.  When we live in the flesh, the only thing that influences our decisions is our desires.  We do whatever our body craves without considering the ramifications it will have on our relationships.  The person who lives in the flesh is a narcissist.

Contrast that with Spirit-filled living which considers the interests of others, and seeks to sacrifice the desires of our flesh for the good of those around us.  Spirit-filled living is living connected to other people.  Spirit-filled living is living in community and in consideration of others.

Since we all have tendencies toward narcissism (hopefully not as great as our tweeting examples above), we need to continually seek to live in the Spirit.  One of the primary ways I do this is by trying to consider the interests of other people above my own.  I consistently find this kills the roots of narcissism in me because it puts to death the flesh.


One response to “Self-Love or Flesh-Love”

  1. this is so true & convicting.