25 Self-IdealismPosted: July 15, 2012
To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men – robbers, evil-doers, adulterers – or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 18:9-14
In our pride we think highly of ourselves. We consider ourselves capable of great feats. We can even develop a superman complex and be in awe of ourselves. We relate to Peter Pan when he says, “Oh, the wonder of me!” If not checked we revel in our self-idealism. Self-idealism is idolatrous, narcissistic and grandiose. Self-idealism feeds on perfectionism and, in turn, perfectionism feeds on self-idealism.
When we believe the lies perfectionism espouses, we open ourselves to idealizing self. In order to maintain our perfectionism, we need to believe ourselves to be superhuman. We deceive ourselves into believing we are way more capable than we really are. Humility requires an accurate appraisal of oneself.
What are some reveries we have about ourselves? Ones where we think we have the right idea for ourselves and for others. “Why don’t they just do the right thing?” we ask, “Can’t they see that speck in their eye?! Oh, yes, they might not be able to see it for the log in my eye that is in the way.” Let’s remove the log so we might see clearly and help each other with the specks. (Matthew 7:5)
I wonder if we realize how much perfectionism affects us on a daily basis. Perfectionism involves denial. We need to let go of our denial. Owning our self-idealism helps us let go of it.
I confess my self-idealism. I have been aware of it for many years, yet I still hold on to it. I need to follow my own advice. God, have mercy on me, a sinner!
Choosing to own and let go,
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Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; reflecting the light we have received so that others can better see. Prayers needed.
PS In case you cannot relate to the above, either you do not have self-idealism or perhaps you are in profound denial (?). Okay, seriously now, open your heart and listen to God. Is the Spirit pointing out any self-idealism? If not, please pray for us who struggle with it. Thank you!