I am easily embarrassed in social settings. I constantly worry about saying the wrong thing, doing the wrong thing, and not appearing to have it all together. Some years ago a friend challenged me that this type of worry is really a sense of pride. She said that it is prideful to think that others care that much about what we are saying and doing that they are watching that closely. She challenged me to focus more on others and less on myself, which allowed me to relax and be myself in those settings. That fear of embarrassment could no longer defeat me.
“He who has no sense of self-importance cannot be offended or defeated.”
~W. Phillip Keller
Although I have not read this quote before, perhaps that is a little of what the author is conveying. When we are less focused on ourselves, we are not as easily defeated by the thoughts and actions of those around us.
I confess, however, that his use of the word "offended" confuses me slightly. The things that offend me are not usually directed at me. I am offended when someone continually takes the Lord's name in vain. I am offended when others are callously mistreated. Perhaps, there is a sense of self-importance in my defining behaviour. Perhaps he means a different definition of 'offend' than I am thinking. I will look forward to reading the entries of other participants to get a better understanding of this. [Note that this is one of the reasons I love 'In Other Words' is to get perspectives that I would not have seen on my own.]
Father, as I interact with others in social settings, help me to not be prideful or carry such a sense of self-importance that I allow fear to defeat me. Use those settings to continue to mold my understanding of myself and to focus me on the needs of others. Lead me to situations where I can demonstrate your love and grace. Amen.
In Other Words is hosted this week at Living for God. Come and read what others are sharing around this quote.