I am like God

By Sherri O’Toole

When the Holy Spirit points out my self-centeredness, as He has done for years, I can be chagrinned but subtly dismissive.  “I know, I hate when that happens, but that’s the way I am.  Isn’t everyone?”  My denial is not so much that I am self-centered, but that I am dismissing its weightiness.  I don’t want to see it as an attempt to take for myself what belongs to God.

“I will be like God.”–how presumptuous, how treacherous, how evil. Lucifer’s fall brings to mind a dark, malevolent genius plotting a coup, yet the Bible pictures him as a beautiful, gifted creature full of himself.  He tempted Eve with that same promise.  “You will be like God.”  We are now all born full of ourselves.

“But I would NEVER try to take God’s place.”

Oh no?

When praying, I have rushed through the obligatory beginning praises to get to the requests; eager to ask God to do what I want.


I can try to phrase a request in such a way that a ‘yes’ answer will be more likely.


I can insist, over and over, to hurry things along.


I have tried to do it myself.


I have loved attention and compliments.


Self centeredness is not just a spiritual gaffe, a petty, ugly, embarrassing flaw that should not be seen in Christian polite society. It is the very spring, the core of sin for which Jesus died. He, who was God, became also man, voluntarily submitting to the Father to earn our righteousness and dying to earn our pardon.  No matter how hard I try, I can’t remove my SELF from the center of my concern.

I can only hide in Him.  He has freely granted pardon, and imparted righteousness.  Someday He will share His glory.  May the Holy Spirit keep holding my feet to the fire to keep me confessing and relying on Him.










The purpose of a blog is to encourage spiritual discourse in our community. As such, posts are generally not edited for content, and may not represent the positions of Grace Bible Church.


11 Responses to “I am like God”

  1. Kristin Isaac Says:

    Thank you for the reminder Sheri.

  2. EXACTLY what I needed to hear today Sherri. Thanks for saying the hard things.

  3. Bev Perkins Says:

    Oh Sherri, you really touched a nerve with the phrase “No matter how hard I try, I can’t remove my SELF from the center of my concern.” This was my constant lament during my struggles being a caretaker. That particular battle is over but the war rages on. I call it having a diysfunctional relationship with myself. I can only say with Paul, “Oh wretched man that I am! who can deliver me from the body of this death?”

    This phrase from a familiar hymn comes to mind – “Jesus is the answer
    every time!”

    Bev Perkins

  4. Bulls eye to the heart. Thank you, Lord, that “I can only hide in Him”.

  5. Mary Howell Says:

    This is so good Sherri. It seems to be the constant work of the Spirit to pull our thoughts off of same-old-tiring self and toward Christ. I’ve been using the analogy of a dog’s leash lately, with our new puppy here at home. When I notice a thought getting between me and the Lord, I ask Him to steer me back to Him. It never fails…my sadness/anger/selfish bloating of pride/fear that tries to invade my soul is replaced with peaceful joy, when I am sincere in my prayer to be steered back. Sometimes I don’t feel like I can pray on my own, especially if I’m down, so I’ve found that praying scripture is tremendously helfpul. Praying the Psalms has been an instant tie between me and the Lord when I am feeling “completely out of gas and ideas”. We have a great gift in His Word. You can tell Him “I”m really trying to stay close to you God” without having to say it yourself. It’s wierd how praying can feel so daunting when attacked by arrows of stress, acedia, worry…

    But back to what you said, Sherri. What a lie we have to swim against in this world of constant lures, that self-preservation is the most important reality. Isn’t there a “SELF” magazine out there? I”m pretty sure I’ve seen it at the store. Putting Christ in front and center and getting out of the way makes no sense to nonchristians. No wonder we have to remind eachother! My favorite part about the whole thing is that we actually do FIND ourselves; I am able to “really be me”, only when I give everything to Him to use. He gives us our true identity, a new name, and lots of jobs to do!
    Your entry brought these verses to mind:
    Psalm 63.6-7 “When, on my bed, I think of You,
    I medidate on You during the night watches
    because You are my help;
    I will rejoice in the shadow of Your wings,
    I follow close to You;
    Your right hand holds on to me.”

    I thought of it this way: I thank Him for His strength when I find delight
    I hide in His wings when I don’t see light

  6. Wow. Thank you.

  7. Sherry O'Toole Says:

    Mary, I’ve read your comments three times. I agree that prayers can certainly be hindered by all kinds of competing thoughts. There seems to be more temptation during prayer than any other time; the world, the flesh, and the Devil resist interference. I am also a practitioner and fan of praying scripture; for one thing, It is a great indicator of God’s will. Thank you for your thoughtful remarks.

  8. Barbara Carl Says:

    I’m so grateful for my sisters at Grace who can cut through the distracting “stuff” to the heart of the matter! Gracias!

  9. Studying Jeremiah this week is blowing me away on this very point.

    “…for my people have committed two evils:
    they have forsaken me,
    and hewed out cisterns for themselves,

    This very point further explained in Jeremiah 17: 5-8:

    “Thus says the Lord;
    Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength,
    whose heart turns away from the Lord.
    He is like a shrub in the desert,
    and shall not see any good come.
    He shall dwell in the parched paces of the wilderness,
    in an uninhabited salt land.

    Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
    whose trust is the Lord.
    He is like a tree planted by water, that sends its roots by the stream,
    and does not fear when heat comes,
    for its leaves remain green,
    and is not anxious in the year of drought,
    for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

  10. Mary Howell Says:

    All your thoughts have refreshed me! I’m so glad when you all write because it is exactly what I need to think about at the time. Julie, I read this yesterday and it ties in with your scripture. Myself being a worry-wart, and “running out” being a haunting fear, this reassured me:


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