When I think of my sins and confess them to God, I tend to focus on the "technicolor" sins . . . you know, the ones that get preached about all the time: greed, idolatry, lust, deceit, laziness, and so forth.
But when I'm really honest with myself, and take a deeper look, I see something far uglier at the core of all those other sins: self-absorption. I often wonder if I've ever really loved anybody. When I look closely at some of the "loving" things I do and say, I see "self-serving" written all over them.
C. S. Lewis once wrote a poem entitled "As the Ruin Falls." I think these lines pretty much say what I feel about myself:
All this is flashy rhetoric about loving you.
I never had a selfless thought since I was born.
I am mercenary and self-seeking through and through:
I want God, you, all friends, merely to serve my turn.
Peace, reassurance, pleasure, are the goals I seek,
I cannot crawl one inch outside my proper skin:
I talk of love--a scholar's parrot may talk Greek--
But, self-imprisoned, always end where I begin.
Thank God, Jesus died for my egocentricity. I pray that the gospel will daily make its way more and more from my head into my heart and change stone into flesh.