Multiple times recently, I've heard God speaking to me through other people, letting my know that I tend to be self-centered, and...dare I use the words...narcissistic, or egotistical. The most recent of which occurred to me while I was reading this comic strip (pictured here) from The Oatmeal: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/running. This is hard to hear as someone who has dedicated one's life to serving others and serving God.
In fact, I think I use that to justify how I operate. Many times in ministry I get this sense that "it has to be me," or "I have to do this because no one else will," or "I have to be the one because I can do this better than anyone else," or "it has to be me because God called me and gave me the gifts to do this way better than anyone else," or "If I can get people to like me, then they'll come to church." And ministry becomes centered around ME.
This breaks my heart, or shatters my perception of myself that has me convinced that I live for others. Basically, it's a big challenge to my world-view. Like when Neo found out that The Matrix was real (or not real, depending on how you look at it).
So now, I have a choice: I can either respond to the invitation to change and center on Christ, or I can keep on deceiving myself and not listen. God speaks, but I'd rather not listen. Especially if I am being asked to change. I liked how things were before I was aware of my faults. But now, now I have to listen and change.
I can still try to find a way out of it. And tell myself that I'm just like everybody else. Because really I'm not that different from many of you, we are all pretty self-centered most of the time. We think the main question is "Why am I here? What's the point of my life?"
In reality, we worry so much about ME that we can miss the great big God and God's wonderful creation there for us to enjoy! I do want to listen, because I do want to change, because I do want to be centered on Christ and changed by God's love. I want to experience the fullness of life God has for us.
God speaks, but will you listen? Even if it's a hard truth? I hope so.