Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Narcissistic Worship

You have probably seen the car commercial that asks the question, “When you turn your car on, does it return the favor?” I pretty much hate that commercial but I think it is very indicative of our culture these days. Everything is about making me feel good, look good, or feel better about myself. To some degree, we have all become like that ancient Greek man, Narcissus who died of thirst and starvation while being enamored by his reflection in a pond.

Unfortunately, much of this attitude, no sickness, has spilled over into our understanding of worship. We come to worship with an attitude of what we will do for God. We leave worship critiquing it based on what we got out of it or how we feel when the service is over. Who is the person we are truly concerned about? It is ourselves – what we do, how we feel, how we look, what benefit we gain. We are so fixated on our growth and becoming all we should be, even as Christians, that we are looking down into ourselves instead of up to God. An acquaintance of mine wrote a spoof worship song about just this sort of thing. The song is It’s All About Me and the words are:
It’s all about me, it’s not about you
I sing of me, myself, and I
The world revolves around me too
It’s plain to see its all about me, me, me

It’s all about me; I know you feel it too
I only think about myself
‘Cause I know that you are too
I sure we can agree, its all about me, me, me

I have my own Trinity, I, myself and me, I am my own deity
I am a tri-unity, Navel gazing on me, I am my own community (Words and Music by Rob Still)

We need to stop thinking that we are the main players on the stage. We are but the supporting characters in the drama God is unfolding. Jesus Christ is the person around whom the whole plot pivots. Bob Webber states, “Biblical worship tells and enacts [God’s] story. Narcissistic worship, instead, names God as an object to whom we offer honor, praise, and homage. Narcissistic worship is situated in the worshiper, not in the action of God that the worshiper remembers through Word and table.” [Robert Webber, The Divine Embrace: Recovering the Passionate Spiritual Life (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2006), 232-233.] We desperately need to get our eyes off of ourselves and up to God. Only when our view is steadfastly locked on Him, can we truly worship be the people God has called and intended for us to be.

Next Time: Biblical Worship

1 comment:

darrell a. harris said...

Great stuff Lori.
Heard this recently . . .
"Just remember, only you can stop narcissism!"
Blessings on you, your dear ones and your kingdom work~
dh