Will You Feed My Ego?

Jen’s Gem: God’s Word never change.

Back in my days in corporate America, performance review time was met with nervous excitement. Nervous because I didn’t know if my hard work would be met with criticism or compliments. Excitement because a raise or bonus of some sort might be in the works and as a single mother with two kids and a mortgage, raises and bonuses were good things!

For most of my career, my performance reviews were stellar. The handful of times when they weren’t, well, let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.  Seeing other people rise up the ladder who had done less than me tried my patience and frustrated me beyond words. Funny, today, I scarcely remember the contents of those pages-long documents.
These days, my freelance writing work is not subject to yearly performance reviews. Any feedback I do receive comes directly from clients. I’m blessed to have great ones who appreciate and value my work. Sometimes I’ll even get a nice email that notes their gratitude or compliments my writing. I’m not ashamed to say that I save all of them. They feed my… ego. 

But… What happens if the piece I write misses the mark? What if I fail to deliver? Does that negate all of the previous kind words? What about my blog posts – the one you’re reading right now? I receive some really nice emails from readers from time to time. I treasure them. But if it’s crickets after I hit”send,” do I throw in the towel because no one complimented me? No one…fed my ego?

You see, if I relied on the compliments from my clients or my Elevate the Day blog and podcast following to secure who I am, I’d be in deep trouble. The nature of these praises is temporary and once the kind words are read or filed away, they’re long forgotten until the next one, until the next “fix” that will boost that three-letter word.

Ego. A small word, yet it packs a punch doesn’t it? Its extremes – too much or too little – elicit strong reactions from others. Our hearts ache for those who struggle to find their worth and our brains want to pop when we see those who have no trouble with it.

Mr. Googly defines ego as “a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance.” Let’s take it a step further and look at the definition of pride: “A feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.”

Let’s go even further and define self-esteem: “confidence in one’s own worth or abilities; self-respect.”

Confidence. Self. Worth. All of these words are wrapped up in the word “ego.” Confidence in self. No wonder people’s egos are all over the place! When things go well, egos abound. When things fail, egos falter. It’s dizzying!

This is why I no longer look to others to define my self-worth and value. It’s too wishy-washy. I want something more concrete. I want to read words that never change from someone who never changes. That’s God, my Father in heaven and that’s His Word.

“The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.”” (Isaiah 40:8 NKJV)

You see, even if I were to print out all of the nice emails I get, they wouldn’t hold a candle to what God says about me. Oh sure, they’d feed my ego for a moment or two, but they’d never find their forever home in my spirit as God’s Word does. Like short-term memory banks, they’d be emptied out as soon as they were read. (Of course, that doesn’t mean I don’t like receiving them!)

We all need an ego boost from time to time. We all need to know we’re appreciated and valued by the people in our lives. However, when this becomes the only means for our self-worth, it’s time to re-evaluate our sources.

God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His Word never changes. If He loved you yesterday, He loves you today. If He valued you yesterday, He values you today. He always thinks you’re great, whether you performed well or you failed miserably.

God doesn’t look at performance reviews or complimentary emails to figure out if you’re worth His love. You were worth it from the moment you were conceived – actually even before that. The moment He thought about your conception, He loved you!

God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19 NKJV)

So on those days when your email box is empty or the “needs improvement” box is checked off on that performance review, just open up God’s Word. Read what He says about you. I guarantee it’ll never change.

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