Okay, so if you read my previous post (Demandingness Part 1), maybe you’ve had time to reflect on how your inborn demandingness shows up in your life. I know, it’s always easier to see it in others first, but this time I want you to focus on you. Not pretty is it?
So what’s the remedy?
Radical transformation. No routine adjustment will suffice here. This goes clear to the bone. It’s complex. No simple 3, 5, 7 or 12 step plan. It’s not a plan, but a person–who gives us a whole new outlook on life. It’s the Jesus way.
Paul, a 1st century Jesus follower described it this way in his letter to other Jesus followers living in the Roman colony of Philippi:
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Phil. 2:3-4, emphasis added)
What’s so amazing about this statement is that Paul was describing how Jesus handled his life. He wasn’t demanding. And if anyone could have been demanding of others he probably could have gotten away with it. After all he was God and perfect. But he didn’t. Why? Because that’s not the heart of God portrayed in the New Testament. He humbled himself because of his great love for us and served our interests–to redeem us when we were hopelessly lost (Matt. 20:28; Luke 19:10).
This life changing perspective from Jesus grows out of a humbled and grateful heart that refuses to focus just on my stuff, my interests and my life, and instead focuses on those around me too. It’s not wrong to look out for myself. That’s not selfish. It’s when I exclusively look out for me and refuse to look out for others as well that I’m selfish, self-focused, narcissistic and demanding.
So, I’d encourage you (and believe me, I’m talking to me too) to listen for it. Ask God to help you become more aware of your demandingness first. And as you begin to admit and own it for yourself, you’ll be humbled and better equipped to help someone else you care about whose demandingness is showing too.
Let’s help each other look more like Jesus and be less demanding. And I just bet those around us will notice too.