Don’t be so self-absorbed
Do you want to maintain other people’s respect?
When they share their struggles and successes with you, don’t say, ‘That’s nothing; let me tell you about my…!’ Haman, a Persian government official mentioned in the book of Esther, was self-absorption personified. He ‘boasted to [his friends and wife] about his vast wealth, his many sons, and all the ways the king had honored…and…elevated him above the other nobles and officials’ (Esther 5:11 NIV 2011 Edition). Not once do we read of his expressing interest in anyone but himself. Indeed, he was so resentful of the favor the king had shown towards Mordecai, a Jew, that he built a gallows on which to hang him.
And how did the story end?
The king hanged Haman on the gallows he had built for Mordecai. So unless you want to tie a noose around your own neck, stop talking so much about yourself! Chances are you may not even be aware of this character flaw in your communication. So ask God to point it out when you do it, and give you grace to overcome it.
Self-centeredness dies slowly, so start with small steps. Try going for a whole day without making your issues the focus of every conversation. Give everyone you meet your full attention – and watch your friendships multiply and your relationships deepen. The word for you today is: ‘Look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.’
‘Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.’ Philippians 2:4 NIV (1984 Edition)