Like the prodigal son, I loathed my rigorous church and home life; I wanted to break free.
“Give me my space,” this teenager screamed; so my parents gave me SPACE and I began my downfall—
S-Smarts: the benefits of a strict home and private schooling.
P-Physically correct: vegetarian, athletic, tall, dark, and, by some estimates, easy on the eyes!
A-Articulate: well-versed, quick-witted.
C-Charming/charismatic: an engaging, unabashed networker.
E-Ethical: honest, never smoked, drank, gambled, drugged, overate, or had other addictions.
But I became a well-educated, highly articulate, and charismatic “SPACE Cadet,” using God’s gifts without acknowledging His gift-giving role. I was an ego-holic!
Ego-holism: “the compulsion to act and/or react excessively because of feelings of inadequacy.” It can be expressed in “big ego” ways—arrogance, racism, sexism, selfishness, non-listening, or superficiality. It can also be expressed in “little ego” ways—procrastination, profanity, poor time management, flirtation, or mere spinelessness. Enough is enough—whether money, attention, clothes, beatings, degrees, sex, or even church attendance.
By January 1987 I was living lavishly and spending foolishly while working for the world’s largest public relations firm in Chicago. Then everything crashed, and I crawled back to God through a gift: The Life Recovery Bible, which addresses the addictive behaviors of Bible characters. I learned that without God, the Bible’s “spirituality buffs” were originally “puffs”! At age 40 I finally settled down and married. My “sandpaper” wife, Elaine, began painfully smoothing my rough edges. As a new entrepreneur in 2001, I immediately gained and lost a major contract and was told, “Talent is not your problem.” Again my self-propelled ego had derailed me. This wake-up call finally forced me to acknowledge my addition and begin deflating my ego through Christ.
My recovery model starts at the TOP: Target your problem; take full Ownership of it; and Proceed immediately to turn your “lemons into lemonade.” I’m still struggling with selfishness, procrastination, arrogance, disorganization, poor eye contact. But I’m in recovery—and it feels good! Lord, help me acknowledge my ego-holic nature and walk humbly each day with You.
Blog post by: Tim Allston. This was first published in the devotional, Fit Forever, Kay Kuzma, editor.