EGO: easing God out

One thing we all learn at some point in our lives is that we think we know what’s really important; what really matters, what works and makes us happy. We think we know what gives life the meaning we seek. It is part of our human nature. Being made like God does not mean we are God but that we share in characteristics that we see in God. One thing we humans can do really well is stand aside for a moment from ourselves and our immediate lives and look at them and ask if this is what we want; are we ok? In a sense we make our own lives. It is not a long leap before we believe we are in control of our own lives. In a sense we create our own self-made gods. We begin to make idols of things that we believe will help us in our lives; make us better people and more successful. We make ourselves accountable to these Gods that we make. You know some of them. They vary for each of us. Think about it.  What are those center points in your life to which you look to find direction, make decisions, get that sense of self?

What happens is that over time we ease God out of our lives by these self-made gods we bow down to; that we give power over lives.

Sigmund Freud invented the word EGO to label that part of us, the “I” — that part of us that has the ability to stand apart from ourselves and self-identify (make ourselves into our own image) “This is who I want you to see I am.”

EGO is in the Bible. In the story of Moses and the burning bush in Genesis God speaks to Moses from the burning bush. Moses asks “Who are you?” and the voice responds “EGO aimi.” Don’t worry about the Hebrew. Just know that translated it means “I AM”. Who are you, God?” “I AM”  EGO

But I cannot help but note that the three letters E-G-O are the first letters of the words Ease God Out.


When I create my own gods, the more I work at making myself my own god, the more I ease the real God out of my life. Maybe, just maybe, when I ask “Where is God/ Is there a God?” maybe it is because some god of my making has eased God out. It is a very short step to saying “I don’t need God any more. I have all the gods I need. I am done with God. There is no God and who cares any way.”

My question is: Does that really work for you in the long run? Where is your god when the bright lights you shine on yourself for all to see go out? What then? When meaning is hard to find, do our self-made gods really work? Honestly!

And God said, “It is good.”

Before we can get what that fancy word Christians use means, we need to challenge ourselves. That fancy word is GRACE. It has a whole lot to do with you and me and our relationship to God.

Over the summer we will be exploring much over used and little understood words. The goal here is to realize that the words we often use are really entry points to a much larger reality which often there are no words to define it because it is an experience that makes a difference. For instance, to say “I am angry” are words that refer to a very deep and encompassing reality.

To begin unpacking what grace really refers to in our lives, we need to see grace as more than what people of faith say at meals (while very important). We need to begin with human nature. Human nature means many things to many different people. “What is human”? What is “natural”?

Human nature sets us apart from nature in general. I grew up with a Golden Retriever who was the kindest most gentle and loving dog you could ever know. Rufus was his name. Rufus always met you with a wagging tail, dark brown eyes looking at you, and a shoe in his mouth. It was his way of saying “welcome home”. Golden Retrievers do things like that. That is their nature. It is natural. But ask Rufus what he was doing and why or where he was going and why, you would get no answer. Ask Rufus why he picked one shoe over another, you would get no answer. Animals do not have the human ability to stand aside and observe themselves. A dog cannot say, as far as I know, “this is my paw.” A human being on the other hand can hold a hand in front of their face and say “This is MY hand.”

There is a difference. I take the difference to reveal the fact that humans have the ability that God has — to stand aside from, apart, and observe. God created creation and then stood back and observed. We create lives. God “saw” it was good so we are told. We “see” all is well.

Just a start. Check back next week