Self-deception

“[I]f anyone thinks he is something…he deceives himself.”

– Galatians 6:3 (NET)

Every time I turn around, it seems someone or group is demanding attention and recognition as something special, something the rest of us should treat with deference and homage, acknowledging how important they are.

Because they believe their education, title/position, job, sex (or orientation), politics, religion, wealth, family name, race, where they live, who they know – or any other distinction – makes them special.

As if having a Ph.D., or being a doctor (or priest, or president of a company or even a country), being hetrosexual (or homosexual or transexual), being Republican (or Democrat), being Christian (or Muslim), being a millionaire, being the descendant of a prominent family, being White (or Black, Brown or any other ethnicity), being an American (or any other nationality), have a well known friend (or family member) really is something that really matters, and that if someone is other they are somehow less important.

They deceive themselves.

As do I and you, as well. Because there isn’t one or any one group who is any more special, more important than any other, and no one is less so.

I say, “as do I”, because it’s true, I confess that on an occasion or two I’ve played one or more of the distinctions above, to draw attention to myself and to come across as being someone who should be thought of as important and deserving of respect, or at least more so than someone else. And I say, “you, as well” because you have, haven’t you? Be honest.

Why do we have such a compulsion to be “something”? Why do we need recognition? Is it simply envy, the belief that someone or others have/are what we wish we had/were, and if by some chance we attain it, it’ll make us special, too?

It is probably best illustrated in the biblical story of Eden, where the serpent said that by eating the forbidden fruit we would be like gods (Ge. 3:5). Now, that’s being something. So we ate. But it was a lie and no one should think they’re that important. 

I’m not special. And neither are you. It doesn’t mean a thing as to what we do, who we know or what we know, where we come from, what we believe or anything else.

The Galatians quote above goes on to say, “Let each [of us]…not compare [ourselves] with someone else (v.4)”.

Let’s stop deceiving ourselves that we’re something we’re not, something special.

Now, if we all could just do that, that’d be something!

– Bill

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