Nope, I’m not awesome.

The truth is, I think I am awesome.  But I am not awesome.

Someone wiser than me recently explained to me that there are two extreme attitudes we can have in life.  This is my ultra-simple paraphrase.

1) We are awesome.  Everyone owes us.

2) We are not awesome.  We owe everyone.

There’s a famous Bible verse that reads “The first shall be last, and the last shall be first”.  Jesus lived that way, stooping so low as to wash his disciples feet.

I’m not like Jesus.  I don’t think I would be comfortable washing my wife’s feet.  I expect her to pick up my laundry.  I don’t always remember to take out the trash or fill up the dishwasher.

Even in writing this post, I think I’m awesome.  But I’m not awesome.  I really don’t want to wash someone’s stinky feet.  I just want to be comfortable in my own little world where everyone owes me.  That’s why I’m not awesome.

God’s working on that.

2 Replies to “Nope, I’m not awesome.”

  1. This is thought-provoking. Self-image and entitlement. I think you’re right that “I’m awesome therefore other people should do what I want.” happens in some people’s heads.

    I know you are awesome, and I know you are not entitled. So what about a positive, accurate self-image including awareness of one’s own awesomeness, without any sense of entitlement to control others? Is that the best of both?

    1. Thanks Mark. I struggle with confidence and knowing what an accurate self-image would be of myself. Today the shop owner next to me came in and told me exactly that — I was awesome but don’t have enough confidence. I’ve heard that a lot. I don’t know how to prescribe to someone else how to have a healthy self-image because I don’t have one myself, but I do know that the Bible tells us God hates pride, and that’s partly what my post is about. If I think I’m too good to do something as crass and dirty as washing someone else’s feet (or doing their laundry, or a zillion other menial things), I’m not living in Christ’s footsteps.

      I do think it’s important to know where our value comes from, whether it’s from within ourselves, from others praising us, or from God. I don’t understand it all yet, but I think the greatest peace comes when we understand that God gives us our value and we don’t have to strive for praise or worry about how we feel about ourselves. If I know that I’m living the life God prepared for me to the best of my ability, nothing else matters, even if everyone around me thinks I’m crazy, weird, or whatever.

      That doesn’t mean we don’t learn or grow in the process of living life, but I think it does take the weight off to try to make ourselves better people.

      I’m probably missing some things, but the basic idea is I don’t want to build myself up to the detriment of others. At the end of the day, the homeless person walking by my shop window or the person that takes my order in the drive-through has just as much value as I do in God’s eyes. Do I really live with that in mind, or do I focus so closely on how valuable I feel (or not) that I miss the value in other people? Am I just trying to fix myself, or am I thinking about how broken the person next to me is, and what I have to offer to help them?

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