Some powerful insights from Influence Lab Atlanta’s Coordinator, Anna Oakley…
This month we are zeroing in on something rather uncomfortable (at least, for me) – our egos. As a believer, I’m accustomed to hearing “die to yourself” and themes of sacrifice, living for God and not ourselves, and thinking of others. So naturally, I thought to myself, “my ego problem was solved when I accepted Christ”. In fact, I’ve struggled with what I thought to be the polar opposite – being a “people pleaser”! Surely, there’s no ego there, right? (More on that in a moment)
What I’ve realized about ego, like many things in my sinful nature, is that if I ignore or suppress it instead of addressing it, my life will unconsciously express it. These roots of ego grow, unchecked, and are fueled by a self-absorbed culture and career path. They then begin to show up above ground where I least expect it.
What is the root of ego?
Fear. Fear is the enemy of faith, the stealer of joy, the destroyer of peace, and the preventer of purpose. I could go on. I hate to admit it, but fear so frequently directs my decisions rather than faith. Oof. Can anyone else relate? It turns out, that so many of my fears are rooted in my desire to be perceived by others as “good”. My people pleasing, in many cases, was simply a ruse to be liked instead of a genuine desire to serve or love others.
I can’t do that! What will ______ think of me?
Really, God, you want me to ______? People will think I’m crazy.
If I don’t _______, they may not like me.
What if I’m not ______ enough?
There’s no way I’m qualified for ______. What if I make a mistake?
I want to offer prayer but.. what if I offend ______?
So how can we overcome our fear-driven ego and walk in faith?
Digging up the hidden roots of ego is an ongoing process, here are a few things that have helped me along my journey to freedom:
- Ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart and show you where fear may be causing ego in your life. When darkness is exposed to light, it can no longer operate!
- Fill yourself with TRUTHS about how God feels about you. God’s truth is our best weapon against the lies of the enemy – whenever thoughts creep in causing fear of what people might think of you or fear of not being enough, fight back with God’s truth! If you don’t know where to start, here are a few of my favorites: 1 Peter 2:9-10, Ephesians 2:10, and Psalm 139:13-17.
- Practice walking in faith. Take it one day at a time – each day, listen for the promptings of the Holy Spirit and practice responding in faith and not fear. It won’t always be perfect, but like anything, the more you practice, the easier it will become!
When you, by God’s grace, walk in faith instead of fear, it allows God to work through you in ways you never would have imagined!
For me, choosing faith over fear led me on a cross-country journey to an Influence Lab Women’s gathering, and now, to starting an Influence Lab chapter in Atlanta!
Do you or someone you know live in Atlanta? Join us at our IN Gathering on June 10th for an evening of inspiration, mentoring, and community with Christian women in film/media, featuring an in-person chat with Sheryl J. Anderson. Sign up here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/breaking-the-ice-in-atlanta-the-hollywood-of-the-south-tickets-326055479717