An employee of the United States Postal Service told how one evening he was handling a very large box, when he noticed something written on it. The sender had noted, "Fragile – Ego Enclosed." In the Greek of the original New Testament, the word for "I" was "ego." Today, we use it to describe someone who has an inflated opinion of himself.
It has been noted, "There is only one thing that can keep growing without nourishment - the human ego." Here are some practical ways to deal with our ego; then, some practical ways to put others first.
To begin with, dealing with our ego:
1. Resist the temptation to defend or vindicate yourself. It has been stated, "An ego trip is something that never gets you anywhere."
2. Resist the temptation to praise yourself. Proverbs 27:2 admonishes, "Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips."
3. Let others win. In planning and strategizing, let others have the credit for an idea. Peter Marshall prayed, "When I am wrong, dear Lord, make me easy to change, and when I am right, make me easy to live with."
4. Remind yourself of God's sovereignty. All our gifts, talents, accomplishments, etc., God gave to us. In Romans 12:6, we are reminded, "Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us."
Secondly, here are some practical ways to put others first:
Make a conscious effort every day to consider the needs of others, and place higher value on their needs than your own. J. F. Newton said, "An egotist is not a man who thinks too much of himself. He is a man who thinks too little of other people."
Listening. Take time to listen to others. Take an interest in their life. Make them the expert. People want to feel valued and important. One of the flagrant problems with most conversations is that we fail to listen to others. When asked for help, be available, whether a menial or very important thing. Take to time to encourage others. Booker T. Washington reminds us, "If you want to lift yourself up, lift someone else."
"Love is never boastful, nor proud, nor haughty, nor selfish, nor rude," I Corinthians 13: 4 and 5 (T.L.B.).
Dave Arnold, Pastor
Gulf Coast Worship Center
New Port Richey, Florida