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February 7, 2014

How's Your Ego?

We've all been in a situation where we have had our egos hurt. When I was first dating my wife, she wanted to go ice skating at the park. We lived in Minnesota where local parks set up ice skating in the winter time. I borrowed a pair of ice skates from a friend and left her with the impression that I knew how to ice skate. You know where this is going. I laced up my skates and moved toward the ice to see my future wife beautifully enter the ice and skate with ease and grace. I thought how hard can it be. I entered the ice and skated a few inches and in a matter of seconds was flat on my back on the ice. My left elbow was the first part of my body to hit the ice and immediately started throbbing.  My ego was soon to follow as my wife leaned over me and asked, "Do you know how to skate?"  

My pride of not admiting to her that I did not know how to ice skate ended up hurting not just my physical but also my psychological well being. Our egos always end up hurting when we are proud. Our pride indicates some very important things about our human egos. The apostle Paul uses the Greek word, physioo, to describe our english word, pride. The normal Greek word is hubris. The use of physioo is unique to Paul because he wants to teach us something about our human egos when he addresses the issue of pride. The Greek word literally means to be overinflated, swollen, or extended beyond normal size. Think of the painful image of an organ that is swollen, extended past its normal size, inflamed and ready to burst.  As one commentator notes, this Greek word for pride is a very interesting and evocative metaphor. This image can teach us some important things about the nature of the human ego; that it is empty, painful, busy and fragile. So I want to take the next four weeks and unpack this question, "How's your ego?" and learn what Paul has to teach us about our pride and ego. I hope that this journey will guide all of us down the path of leading from a healthy sense of self.

Next week...Empty.

Grace and peace,


P.S. Group Snapshots -

It's time to complete another small group snapshot.  How is God working in your group?  Any issues that need pastoral follow up?  Any major prayer concerns?  Some of you have added new people to your group over the last month, and we need to get updated rosters from everyone.  Thanks for your help in keeping our records up to date so that we can better serve you and your group members.