First pride, then the crash—
the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.
Proverbs 16:18 (MSG)
As I have gotten older, I have become more acquainted with my ego. This has not been a bad thing for me. In fact, quite the opposite. The more I get to know her, the better. She is a part of me I cannot deny. A very real part that that is constantly trying to be the biggest part.
You see, if I did not know her I would be incredibly vulnerable to letting her have her way.
She would too easily try to take me down a route of comparison, pride, lust, and lies and they are in the business of destroying souls.
I have come to learn, I am less likely to let her have her way if I know her ways.
She has made herself known to me a lot in these past couple of years and since then I have gone on a journey of discovering who she is.
One encounter with her stands out particularly.
I had changed job roles and I was overwhelmed by the responsibility and work that I had taken on.
There were a lot of people looking to me to see how I was going to handle this new position and what changes I was going to bring.
One morning, as I took Ozzy (my chocolate Labrador cross) out on his morning run, I brought up how I was feeling with God.
In all honesty and vulnerability, I told Him I felt like I was doing a bad job, that nothing was moving very quickly, and people had expectations of me to produce something good.
After babbling on for a little while about this I blurted out,
“I need you to do something amazing through me so that people can see I am doing a good job.”
Yes, I really said that.
Well, my ego did.
I think deep down, we know when it is our ego talking.
Within seconds, God interrupted and silenced my ego by speaking straight to my heart and I sensed Him lovingly correct me,
“Zoe, I am not here to make you look good, you’re here to make me look good.”
I am sure I have had many more encounters with my ego before that day, but this encounter was what led me on a journey of discovering what she longs for and the lengths she will go to try to get it.
So, Ego, this time it is my turn to speak to you and call you out on who you are.
I hope you are listening because that is what you’ve always expected from me.
If you can, although against your nature, show a little respect.
Ego, you puff yourself up. You are over inflated and have no substance.
There is nothing at your centre, just emptiness.
I suppose that’s why you’re always searching to be filled, trying to give me a sense of worth.
You are a never-ending black hole, but no matter how much I throw in, you never get full.
You try to convince me you are better than you are.
Ego, you hate to let go, you hate change unless it means you are promoted.
You will try and do anything to keep yourself looking good and you enjoy exposing other peoples’ weakness in order to elevate yourself.
You do it so you don’t expose your own.
You strive for perfection, always wanting to win popularity contests, drawing attention to yourself.
Ego, you look down on others and cannot see what is always above you.
You boldly shout out, ‘me first,’ ‘look at me,’ ‘learn from me,’ ‘be like me.’
You cannot hear humility that whispers ‘them first,’ ‘look at others,’ ‘learn from others,’ ‘be yourself’.
Ego, you will try to eat up wisdom in a moment so you don’t miss your chance to be flattered.
You don’t know how to rest in contentment because you are always searching and seeking for excessive and insincere praise, always wanting to be celebrated.
Your best friend is dopamine.
You are desperate to see its release, so you will try to convince me to do ANYTHING that will make me ‘feel good,’ even for a moment.
You have no regard for the consequences.
Ego, you keep me in arguments, conflicts and broken relationships for longer than I need to be.
You hate to say sorry or admit you’re wrong.
You are stalling restoration.
You hate to be corrected and you are constantly offended.
Ego, you are easily hurt.
Doesn’t that tell you there is something wrong with you?
Pain is supposed to do that.
Ego, I understand you are a part of me, but you do not need to rule me.
Lay down your crown.
Someone far greater already has that position.
His Spirit lives within me. I am sure you know him.
He’s far bigger than you.
He makes you look small.
God of Salvation,
you chased down my heart,
through all of my ego and pride.
(Hillsong United – So Will I)