I saw an update on Face Book the other day that I have (unfortunately) seen far too many times:
If I were to disappear, would anyone miss me?
I always wonder what this question accomplishes.
Making much of self
Whenever I see this statement, 1 Corinthians 13.11 comes to mind. Here Paul talks about his growing into maturity in the love of God. What he says about his adolescence is telling of us.
When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.
I understand that there is a greater context regarding our eternal state, but he has used this metaphor of adolescence in a great way. The point is that we all need to grow up. A stronger case for our growth can be seen in 2 Peter 1.5-8 where we are told to keep building on our faith (with love, knowledge, brotherly affection, etc…) and in Hebrews 5.12 and 1 Corinthians 3.2 where both authors show disappointment with their churches being far behind where they should be spiritually.
Everything is Spiritual
I didn’t think I would say it, but Rob Bell was right about something. It is true that there are distinctions between the physical and spiritual, but at the root of every physical sin, there is a spiritual matter. Thus, everything is spiritual. Every phrase you use, every word you waste, every image you see has a spiritual application for good or bad.
So the above phrase, for instance, may be considered simply a social issue, but at the root of the matter is a heart issue. This is seen in Jesus where he tells us that lust is the same as adultery and hate is the same as murder. Obviously hate is not physical on the onset, and lust is a problem in the heart, but these spiritual issues are always at the root of our physical (or verbal) reactions to people. So what about this statement?
A Prideful Heart
At the root of this frustrated person wondering if people would miss him, is a heart full of pride. This is not your typical pride, however, as it shows itself in a peculiar way. People with this type of pride truly do think that the world revolves around them and wish to verify it with the people that respond with, “Of course we’ll miss you! What are you talking about?” But then if you say no or don’t reply, it seems as though you are not a good enough friend. So what do you do?
Compassionate in confrontal
Those who say things like this need to understand a few things about themselves:
- They are prideful
- Other people are just as deserving as they are
- They lack compassion for others, but
- God loves them anyway
The root of the phrase is pride. Pride that puts one’s situation as more important than others. They don’t realize that there are other people out there that are suffering, and because of this they have no compassion for others who are suffering. But God loves them no matter what. They need to understand the love of God and His promises that remind us of His constant presence.
Of course we would miss these people- but the main issue is not if they would be missed or not- it is if they understand who they are before God.