Your church doesn’t exist to make you feel good about yourself. It isn’t here so you can be a star of the Christian world or so that you can be exalted as good or hard-working or gifted. Your church is not designed to bring you recognition or appreciation or to give you a thousand reasons to get your feelings hurt and a thousand more reasons to celebrate your own goodness. It isn’t meant to be fuel for your pride. Your church isn’t here so you can be handled with kid gloves or so that you can get the attention you crave.
Your church is not built for inflating your self-esteem. It was not created to make much of you. It isn’t around so that you will better understand how awesome you are or so that you will feel a deep sense of how blessed the church is to have you.
You explain away your need to be magnified. You say you are only looking for the appreciation you deserve. You excuse your hunger for applause and attention. You say that it’s only natural. You say it’s healthy to have a good self-image.
Your church is here, not to give you a good self-image, but to give you a true self-image. One that stands you up next to the holy God of the universe and shows you just how far you fall short. It is meant to give you a realistic understanding of how unremarkable you really are so that you can look to Jesus and you can look to the cross and you can see your salvation unfold before your very eyes, so that you realize how unworthy you are of God’s love. So you can grasp how great this love is that would reach out to you. So that you fall down in worship just thinking about it.
But, still, you want a piece of His glory in what seem like small ways. You want to be honored. You want to be admired. In the simplest of terms, you allow idolatry to thrive inside of you. The Idol of Self. And, you expect your church to bow to this idol, too. But that is not what the church was made to do. Don’t be a church member who is a drain on the church’s emotional and spiritual resources. You won’t find power-hungry or over-sensitive or self-centered anywhere in the fruits of the spirit, nor will you find it anywhere in the character of Christ.
Instead of demanding service, serve.
Instead of vying for attention, focus on others.
Instead of looking for your due, honor someone else.
Instead of being sensitive and easily offended, be gentle and forgiving.
Instead of expecting recognition, be humble in spirit.
Instead of wishing for power and influence, pray for wisdom and discernment.
You are a member of the Body of Christ. Don’t be the trick knee. Don’t cause pain and strife with your selfish ways and your need to be seen. Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord. Be a church member who is constantly asking God to kill your desire to steal His glory and fame. You don’t need rewards or recognition or attention in this life. He sees the good work you are doing, and He will reward you accordingly one day in Heaven. For now, determine that you will be last, not first. That you will be a humble servant, not an attention-seeker. And don’t ever lose sight of your true self-image, even when your lying heart tries to tell you otherwise.