Many Christians including myself have gotten stuck in their own world and did not even know it. Sin is just this insidious. We feel like good Christians, but actually we are stuck in our own world.
To explain, let me tell the first of three stories of Christians I know of – a married guy, a divorced woman, and myself.
First the Story of the Married Guy Stuck in His Own World
A passionate Christian guy who worked for me for 4 years and did good work suddenly gave his notice one day and then treated everyone in the office like dirt. We were shocked and hurt. It was like these 4 years were all a dream that is now gone. He left to seek his dream with his wife and young child.
Later we found out why he treated us like dirt. He and his wife had been at home complaining about his pay for the whole year before he left. He never told us. If he had, we would have told him for the 5th time that he needs to learn more English if he wants to earn more money with us.
Later he came back to us, and we really needed him back, but we were mad at him. I told him how he hurt all of us to try to reconcile. The specific facts of how he treated us crushed and destroyed him. We saw he could not see us. Further, he could only see his own hurt. My Jo gave him some free counseling to get him on his feet. Then, to our great surprise he walked away from us again. We found and hired another person.
He fell into deeper work troubles and finally unemployment and depression.
We recommended a job for him that we knew of, and he refused it. He said it was not as good as working for us. We were shocked and reminded him that it was no use to compare as he does not have a job with us. He was puzzled.
Stuck In Our Own World Can Look Like This
He then came back saying he wanted to remake our friendship but actually to get a job with us. We had long ago replaced him with a better person. He had become less employable since he left. We told him clearly that we had no work for him, but he still wanted to meet with us. Finally, we told him again very clearly that we have no work for him. Due to his unhappiness, he broke off connection with us.
Why How Are They Stuck?
This is a sad story. The impact is vast. He (and his wife) live in worlds that are separate from the world around them and each other. They are puzzled that the world does not revolve around them.
12 We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise
29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[a] 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[b] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[c] There is no commandment greater than these.”
To love someone, we have to see how they are feeling about each thing in the moment. If we turn to what we feel in the moment, we have left the other person. If we continually judge by what we feel and what we think, we are not loving people as not seeing from the other’s angle. In fact, we become ingrained in our own world.
Let’s Get Unstuck
This world cheats us of the rich world of the people near us and traps us in our own small world. The work can begin in and with our family and then move out with God’s lead. Most people will need professional counseling to start to escape the thinking patterns of a lifetime. See also Does God Like Psychology?
This topic needs more thought. I will continue in near future. May this couple seek the counseling we offered to pay for for them. May we all see where we are trapped.