Self-Centred Or God-Centred?
How can you discern whether a person is self-centred or God-centred? Well, a self-centred person strives for power, prestige, influence, and authority, while a God-centred person always tries to aim for humility, modesty, and meekness. One destroys, and the other uplifts. One wounds, the other heals. One is full of insecurities while the other is secure in who God is. One decides to take matters into their own hands while the other leaves the matter in God’s hands. Attempting to right all the wrongs that have left us disappointed, wounded and hurt is a fool’s game. It is a game that the enemy tries to get God’s anointed to play so that it compromises their destiny.
Many people who’ve read my book, Wounded and on the Run: How the Worst Pain Can Lead You into Your Greatest Calling comment on how much grace I give to the people who have wounded or hurt me over the years. They wonder why I chose not to seek revenge over what they did to me and get my own back. Firstly, I have learned to walk in forgiveness rather than bitterness and regret, and secondly, I know God has anointed me for a purpose, and if I decided to teach those self-centred people a lesson by my own doing, then I’m not trusting God to deal with them as He sees fit.
“But, they have gotten away with all the stuff they’ve done to you, Wendy. They’ve wounded you so badly!” Sure, they may seem as though they’ve gotten away with things, and we can face some real enemies over our lifetimes, but I remind people that the battle is the Lord’s, and it’s up to God to deal with those who’ve chosen to hurt us. Yes, the things that I’ve had to go through because of self-centred people aren’t right, I agree, but I believe that in the end, no one gets away with throwing around their weight, power, and authority to purposefully wound God’s anointed people.
Let me share a story…
Before David became king, he encountered not one self-centred person, but two. King Saul and Nabal. In 1 Samuel 24 Saul is hellbent on destroying David because ever since the women took out their tambourines and sang, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands” in 1 Samuel 18, Saul’s jealousy over David’s anointing as the next king of Israel has driven David and his men into hiding.
While Saul is relieving himself in a cave, David’s men urge David to take action and deal with Saul once and for all. They felt the Lord himself had given that self-centred king Saul into David’s hands. However, David decided to spare Saul’s life and cut off the corner of his robe rather than cut his throat which was significant because Saul’s robe symbolised his power and authority.
‘Now understand and recognise that I am not guilty of wrongdoing or rebellion. I have not wronged you, but you are hunting me down to take my life. May the Lord judge between you and me. And may the Lord avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you.” [1 Samuel 24:11-12]
No sooner had that little incident been cleared up, than David encounters Nabal, another self-centred person in the next chapter. This time David’s men told David that they’d been insulted by Nabal after they asked him to share some of his provisions because they’d looked out for Nabal’s shepherds in the fields. ‘When David’s men arrived, they gave Nabal this message in David’s name. Then they waited. Nabal answered David’s servants. “Who is this David…why should I take my bread and water, and the meat I have slaughtered for my shearers, and give it to men coming from who knows where?” [1 Samuel 25:10-11]
Offended by Nabal’s response, David says to his men, “Put on your swords!” Meaning, that no one in Nabal’s household is going to be spared after his lack of hospitality. David decides he is going to take matters into his own hands. However, Abigail, Nabal’s smart wife, loads up donkeys full of provisions and gives it all to David, something her self-centred, fool of a husband should have done to honour the next king of Israel.
Abigail reminds David of God’s promise, his anointing on his life, and how he trusts God. Abigail tells David that he is a God-centred person not a self-centred person like her foolish husband. David lowers his sword, relents, and realises she’s right, sparing Nabal’s household. ‘May you be blessed for your good judgement and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands. Otherwise, as surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, who has kept me from harming you, if you had not come quickly to meet me, not one male belonging to Nabal would have been left alive by daybreak.” [1 Samuel 25:33-34]
These examples reveal how a God-centred person deals with a self-centred person. Even though it’s hard, they make room for God to be the judge and jury by humbling themselves. Needless to say, God did deal with self-centred Saul and Nabal because He fights our battles for us, and He does it His way, and David did end up becoming the God-centred king that he was anointed for. Saul and Nabal got it all wrong, they strived for power, prestige, influence, and authority, while God-centred David aimed for humility, modesty, and meekness.
Self-centred people destroy,
God-centred people uplift.
the other heals.
One is full of insecurities,
while the other is secure in who God is.
One decides to take matters into their own hands,
the other leaves matters in God’s hands.
Even though I’ve gone through the process of allowing the scars of Jesus to heal my past hurts and pain and let Him soothe and cleanse each one of my wounds by His grace and goodness, I am still not immune to more wounding, hurt or disappointment from self-centred people I encounter.
I will still feel the sting of their self-centred ways, however, my wounds will heal a lot quicker if I keep deciding to be a God-centred person. And to be honest, the older I get and the more I navigate my way through this life, I have to keep choosing to be a God-centred person who trusts God with His judgement and deals with the self-centred ones in a way only He knows how no matter how hard it feels to watch them carry on hurting others.
Because He has anointed me for a purpose, He has called me by name and told me I am His, regardless of what others think or do to me. Same with you my friend. He has anointed you for a purpose. He has called you by name and told you you’re His, regardless of what others do to you, regardless of how badly you’re treated and what others think about you.
I decided long ago that I would not engage in the revenge game the enemy wants me to play so my destiny is compromised by self-centred people. Silence is a powerful weapon to wield, giving much-needed room for God to do what He needs to do, to fight your battle for you.
So today, dear friend, if you’re struggling to figure out how to deal with a self-centred person, flip the script and flip open your Bible to 1st Samuel dive into chapters 24 and 25 and encourage yourself to keep being the bigger person. To keep reminding yourself and the enemy, that you’re an anointed, God-centred person, who has been chosen for a purpose, and you will not allow your anointing to be compromised!