Just the other day, I was thinking about one of my accomplishments and how well it had turned out, and I found myself in a familiar place. I once again caught myself sliding down the slippery slope of pride. Truthfully, it takes very little accomplishment in my life for my flesh to perk up and think grandiose thoughts of myself.
As much as I despise this insatiable appetite for notice and acclaim, there lurks in me a deeper, darker bent to my thought life. It is the other side of the slippery slope of feeling sorry for myself. I find that my flesh is so desperate to be exalted that it will even use my occasions of hurt to focus on myself. I slip to the other side and ever so slowly slide into despair. I can even justify this self-absorption of hurt feelings to some inner sense of healing. Either way, self is the focus, and Christ is dethroned in my wicked heart.
This affliction isn’t unique to me and instead is something every sinner has in common. In Romans, Paul writes: “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.” (Romans 7:24-25)
God’s answer is to get my eyes off of myself—altogether and completely—so I can fully behold the beauty of Christ and His gospel of redemption. I must constantly fix my gaze towards Christ and leave behind the slippery slope of self.