The me @ center stage.
If the world isn't a stage, then someone better send the memo to a good many of my contact list peeps. Yes, drama is a life reality and many of us are the kings and queens at center stage. To be honest, most personal drama involves my own theatrical responses to the world around me. The me @ center stage is usually the real drama.
So, what else is new? The unholy trinity of me, myself, and I has been a basic human crisis since Cain and Abel. Discovering the me @ center stage isn't a new wrinkle in the study of human dynamics. It's not a mystery either, the egotism that drives the dramatic impulses in each of us. Though some crave it more than others, us natural sinners love the spotlight and will assume some extraordinary roles to bask in it. And, think about this. They say the word hypocrite is a stage word too, deriving from the Greek comedy and tragedy masks the actors wore. That's perhaps why the me @ center stage is such perplexing role for believers. We're never supposed to be at center stage in the first place.
So, how do I deal with the me @ center stage, the source of much of the drama that complicates life? Here's some biblical guidance---
1. Settle the life audience competition in your life.
It is the basic tension in life for believers, the pressure of pleasing other
humans or pleasing God. It was true in the first century and it is true today.
Much of the drama we experience in this life involves the dramatics of
establishing our places in the hierarchy of our personal circles. Settling the
audience competition can reduce the need for dramatic theatrics. it is a
significant topic of Scripture. Here are several examples---
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man?
If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Galatians 1:10, ESV
For they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from
John 12:43 (ESV)
2. Know the blessing of personal humility.
Humility isn't table talk these days, or stage presence either. But, being humble
is a strong biblical virtue. Remembering God's promises regarding the humble
may be a good start in eliminating life's drama---
But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to
James 4:6, ESV
3. Practice self-denial as a life discipline.
It may seem surprising to most contemporary believers, but Jesus said self-
denial was the first step of Christian discipleship. It should be the default
setting in our approach to most of life's complications.
If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and
Luke 9: 23, ESV
Center-stage positioning isn't that important to people defined by self-denial.
4. Elevate others to a priority position in your life.
Scripture instructs us about our treatment of "one another", that is, how we
are to respond to other believers. There's also a great deal of counsel about
how we are to interact with "others", those inside and outside the community
of faith. Center stage won't usually be so appealing to us if we place other
people there in the first place. The Apostle Paul wrote---
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more
significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also
to the interests of others.
Philippians 2:3-4, ESV
5. Let genuine peace qualify your life.
Much human drama derives from our own personal insecurities, anxieties, busy-
ness, and emotional trauma. Personal peace is the promise of Christ. We
should pray for peace and seek it as a solution to the personal dilemmas that
send us to center stage. Jesus said---
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you.
Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
John 14:27, ESV
Hey, much life drama is the result of our own theatrics. Living at center stage isn't our assigned positioning. We humans may prefer the applause of others more than that of heaven, but we were not created for the central billing in life. The me @ center stage isn't our best role. It's often the source of our most perplexing dramas.
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