Recently I was counselling a woman who has fallen out with her husband and was struggling to keep a handle on controlling her teenage kids. From the outside the family appeared to be stable, well-adjusted and happy; but the truth was it was all a façade. The façade often cracks when the kids hit the teenage years and start being defiant.
In the course of our discussion she revealed that this was all a bit of a shock because she had always thought that she was someone very special to God and that God would naturally give her the life she deserved. Her childhood was strained by parental control and injustices, and it always seemed that her siblings got the better deal. From her perspective, she was the one that was good, so it wasn’t fair that she always seemed to be left out and mistreated.
I’ve heard this story many times. Certainly there are circumstances where children need to be rescued from evil parents, but why is it that where children have had a reasonable upbringing, they still want a better deal than they got?
The final price of “I’m special” is separation from God
The truth is that Eve took the fruit because she was tempted by Satan to get a better deal for herself. She wasn’t satisfied with the deal God had given her. From that point on, everybody is born with the selfish desire to get more for themselves. If we fail to recognise this temptation then we will simply fall to the same trap as Eve and, like Eve, the consequences will be to blame our husband that he didn’t protect me, blame our wife that she made me do it, live in fear, pretend we don’t know what God is talking about, act like everything is fine by being good, and lose our children to envy, just like Cain and Abel.
“I’m special” is just a mood
From the moment we’re born we demand attention. We learn that if we cry loud enough then our parents will give us what we want. We set a pattern of moodiness and we learn techniques that manipulate people to do what we want, and if we don’t get it we have a big mood and huff, and if a sibling seems to be liked more or get a better deal, we let our feelings get hurt and it fuels our envy.
We learn to allow our feelings to dictate our desires, so when we feel bad we have a mood until we get something that makes us feel good again. We live for feeling good, and we’re taught that if you’re good you get good from Santa, but if you’re bad you don’t get it, so we learn to be good so that we get it. We’re not good for God’s sake; we’re good for our sake.
The problem is, that this pattern of goodness doesn’t satisfy us. Somehow we still feel the wounds of rejection, left-out, misjudged, unfairness, cruel words, bullying, and envy. Thus, we either rebel against the authority or strive to be even gooder. But still it doesn’t satisfy, so in order to feel of value, we fantasize that we are special and live in a bubble of false belief about our superior value and purpose in society. We add education and skills to our portfolio so we can promote ourselves above our neighbour and prove we are more special than our neighbour.
We then find out about God and decide that if we follow Christ then He will prosper me, keep me from hassles, protect me and elevate me above those that have hurt me. We now incorporate God into our fantasy, believing that we are very special to Him, and because God is so sweet and kind He will give me whatever I want and do for me whatever I ask, and the Pentecostal church teaches that, so I must be right. We then begin to believe that we are pretty much always right and everyone who disagrees with us is wrong.
We become the person we hate, and dictate our selfishness over those below us
We then intimidate and control people and family with hyper-authoritarianism so that our environment is controlled to our personal liking and well-being with no hassles, and without even seeing what we’re doing, we’ve actually turned into the person we hated for hurting us in the very beginning. But, so we don’t look bad or feel bad we do enough good things to prove to ourselves and others that we are basically good.
We can’t see how arrogant we are
When our heart silently declares … I’m special, how could you correct ME? I’m special, how could you reject ME? I’m special, I deserve the best. I’m special; you can’t tell me what to do. I’m special; you can’t tell me I’m wrong. I’m special, I know more than you … then we’re blindly and arrogantly declaring that I’m the centre of attention, not Christ.
What we fail to see is that we haven’t found God at all. All that’s happened is that Satan has manoeuvred us further away from the truth by feeding us with the thoughts and feelings we want that gets us what we believe is what we deserve. The truth is we’ve fallen for the Santa Claus fantasy. You might think you’re in touch with God, but, like Adam and Eve, if you envy a better deal, you’ll be separated from God until you repent of your selfishness.
God’s into nobody’s
The belief that you’re special isn’t planted there by God; it’s planted there by Satan. Everyone’s born thinking that they are a somebody, but you won’t find the true God until you wake up to the trap and realise you’re a nobody.
God searches the heart. He’s looking for the nobody’s not the somebody’s. That’s why He’s coming back for the prostitutes and sinners, not the self-righteous. That’s why He invited the down and outs to the wedding banquet; the self-righteous were too busy fantasizing in their self-value. That’s why the thief on the cross was saved and not Pilate. They both came face to face with Christ but Pilate was too proud to stop the crucifixion for fear of what the church thought, and the second thief was too full of his own value to humble himself before the Christ.
The Word of God says in Luke 14:26, 27 & 33 that until a man considers himself of zero value before Christ he cannot be a disciple.
What’s really happened?
Our fantasy is simply the fruit of our wounds. It’s not born of God, it’s born of Satan and fed by self.
If you really stop and think about it …
- A person who wallows in their wounds is just being selfish.
- A person that believes they’re the special one is just wallowing in their wounds and looking for something to make themselves feel good and to give themselves self-value.
- A person that holds onto a prophecy to build their self-worth is a liar, not a Christian.
- “I’m special” becomes a competition against your neighbour as to who is the most special. This proves it’s not of God.
- The average Christian can’t handle the criticism. They want the truth but not the truth about themselves; it’s too much of a put-down and it hurts their feelings. This proves their fakeness.
- “I’m special” is just a selfish way of blocking your hurt feelings.
- “I’m special” is just a selfish way of saying “I’m No.1”. The bible says the first will be last, Mark 10:31. This proves it’s not of God.
- A person who thinks that you’re the problem if you make them feel bad is living in the lie of their goodness and is under the influence of a demonic spirit, not Christ.
- A person who thinks that you’re wrong if you have a problem with them, is obviously puffed up with their own rightness and can’t be told they’re the one that’s wrong.
- “I’m special” eventually exposes itself by TELLING people what’s right and wrong. It doesn’t like to be told; it loves to tell.
God can use any vessel for His sovereign purpose, but if you’re going to be used of God and survive for heaven without being puffed-up in your own self-righteousness, you first of all have to be broken. This was the pathway for Moses, Noah, Abram, Joseph, David and even Jesus. There’s no other pathway. Samson learnt it the hard way, but King Saul was too stubborn to learn it.
If you truly are special to Christ, then you won’t think you are. If you truly do have a purpose for Christ then you’ll only find it via the pathway of put-downs, separation and persecution. Like Christ before us, this is the only pathway that makes you worthy.
‘All that want to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution’ 2 Timothy 3:12
- If you think you are special, then you’re under the influence of a demon, not God
- If you think you’re better than your neighbour, then you’re into satanic envy, not good
- If you think you deserve to get the best deal; you’re selfish, not godly
- If you believe that God will punish people that hurt your feelings then you’re under the influence of the spirit of anti-christ, not God
- If you believe that you have the right to hurt back those that have hurt you, then you’re not a Christian; full-stop. The Word of God says ‘treat others as you would like to be treated’, Matthew 7:12.
If you think you’re worth more to God than your neighbour, you’re contradicting the 2nd great commandment, and therefore living in your own deception.
“I’m special” is just plain vanity and the fruit of a wounded spirit which vows justice for its pain.
Thankfully, the woman I was counselling was willing to be told that the pattern of her life was selfish. Enough had gone wrong for her to see that she had used God to feed her selfish specialness.
God uses dead people, not people who think they’re special
A true Christian doesn’t fall for the selfish trick that they’re special. It’s not relevant; they’re dead to themselves. It was the woman that put in the two mites that God valued, not the self-righteous wealthy. It was the centurion that said “I am not worthy” that impressed Jesus, not the Pharisees.
If any man desires to be first, the same must be last of all and servant of all, Mark 9:35. Any other means of thinking you’re first and special is from Satan, not God.
Pastor Jim Desmond