The Evil “I”

by The Mad Preacher                                                                                                    Rod Davis

We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. (2 Corinthians 1:8)

Many times I’ve felt much like the Apostle Paul. I’ve had my share of pain and rejection in my life, and I’ve often had to face them without any human comfort. Yet, hardships are just part of life. We all face struggles from time to time. None of us are immune. We have no choice over the cards that life deals us. However, we can choose how we play those cards. Do I sit in the corner, licking my wounds, buried in bitterness and self-pity, or do I adopt Paul’s attitude? For he went on to say:

Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us. (Vs. 9-10)

It’s so easy to look at what we don’t have and let that overshadow the many ways that God has so abundantly blessed us. He’s the “friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24) He’s the one who told His followers, “I’ll never leave you are forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5) God’s the one who said, “I’ll supply all of your needs.” (Philippians 4:19) He’s the one who has saved me completely. (Hebrews 7:25)

God has blessed us beyond measure. Everything else is icing on the cake. So, the choice is mine as to what to do when troubles beset me. Do I choose anger and bitterness or do I choose the hope and peace found in God’s Word? It’s not an easy choice and it costs you something, but anything worthwhile always cost us something. What is the price? Simple, it’s our pride. It’s the evil “I”.self-centered

Psychiatrists call it the ego. It’s that part of our psychological makeup that believes it must fight for itself in the world. Left unchecked by the Holy Spirit it devolops into a dog eat dog mentallity that leads to destruction.

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)

The ego is the basis of pride and pride is the source of all sin. It’s the starting place of all negative human behavior. Not only is it the root of such things as arrogance, self-importance and religious bigotry, it also gives birth to things like fear, anger, self-debasement, self-pity and shame.

I spent most of my younger years unaware of the fact that I was full of pride. I had a wicked mixture of religious arrogance and self-loathing. Thus, most of my life was spent lamenting over how cruel life seemed to me. I was focused on the evil “I”. Then one day God expose my pride to me in the form a woman in a church I use to attend.

This lady was in a terrible emotional condition. Nearly every worship service found her at the alter having one of the pastors praying with her over the same things. Then one night, after worship, I overheard her bellyaching to someone about her life. “I’m afraid of what my husband and children would think if I ….” “I’m afraid to try that because I might fail”, on and on she went voicing the same theme. As I listened the Lord revealed to me the true source of her problem.

In the past, everyone was trying to treat the symptoms—fear, self-pity, poor self-image, faithlessness, est., rather than treating the problem. “I know what your problem is.” I told her. “What?… What?!” she asked, eyes wide open and filling with tears. “It’s pride.” I answered. “PRIDE?!” she exclaimed, “PRIDE?! Oh, no! What do you mean?!” “Well, it’s evident in the things you say. ‘I’m afraid of this.’ ‘I’m afraid of that.’ ‘I’m afraid of what my family will think.’ Then I asked her, “What is the middle letter in the word sin?” “I”, she responded. “What’s the middle letter of the word pride?” I continued. “It’s ‘I’.” she responded. Her eyes were now like water fountains. Streaks of mascara ran down her glistening cheeks.

“You see,” I continued. “All pride is self-centeredness. Your focus is on you and your feelings of inadequateness.” That hit home with her. “Oh, no!” she cried. “What do I do?” I answered, “Repent. Recognize it as sin and, once for all, repent of it. Then study The Bible and see what God thinks of you as his child.” I prayed with her and walked her through as she asked for God’s forgiveness for her pride.

Its pride, that evil “I”, which also causes us to loose our cool with others, be it at home or in traffic. It’s pride that makes us think that everything’s supposed to go or way. Then, it is pride that gets us all bent out of shape when things don’t go our way. It’s pride that drives us to fear, worry and a sense of inadequacy. It all boils down to one thing — self-centeredness. The choice is ours to make. I can’t blame anyone but myself for the bad choices I’ve made and the bitter aftermath that followed. I made my bed. I must now sleep in it. You reap what you sow and so forth.

I wasted so many years wallowing in bitterness and self-pity. I’m now choosing to do otherwise. Theses days I’m letting God’s Word be my mirror. With God’s help, I’m keeping my pride in check… ah… must of the time. Am I always successful at it? No. Do I still battle bitterness and feelings of inadequacies? Oh yes, often! However, as time goes by and my relationship with God grows stronger it becomes easier to defeat the evil “I”.

This is what the LORD says: “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 9:23-24)

8 thoughts on “The Evil “I”

  1. You actually make it seem so easy together with your presentation but I in finding this matter
    to be actually one thing that I feel I might never understand.
    It kind of feels too complicated and extremely extensive for me.
    I am looking ahead for your next post, I will attempt to get the
    dangle of it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Maple. I love feedback and welcome it all, even if it’s critical. If blesses me immensely to know that I’m not running the race in vain, that people are being helped by my humble efforts. Thanks! Blessings!!!


    • Hello Maple! One of the reasons that we have trouble understanding The Bible is that we read it like a textbook. It’s a spiritual book who author is God’s Holy Spirit.

      All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV)

      For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:21 NIV)

      We have to ask the author for understanding. When I read and study The Bible I pray and ask the Holy Spirit to teach me and help me to understand what I read. Another reason why people have trouble comprehending the scripture is that they know the author— God.

      11 No one can really know what anyone else is thinking or what he is really like except that person himself. And no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. 12 And God has actually given us his Spirit (not the world’s spirit) to tell us about the wonderful free gifts of grace and blessing that God has given us. 13 In telling you about these gifts we have even used the very words given to us by the Holy Spirit, not words that we as men might choose. So we use the Holy Spirit’s words to explain the Holy Spirit’s facts. 14 But the man who isn’t a Christian can’t understand and can’t accept these thoughts from God, which the Holy Spirit teaches us. They sound foolish to him because only those who have the Holy Spirit within them can understand what the Holy Spirit means. Others just can’t take it in. (1 Corinthians 2 TLB)

      You then become that person who understands The Bible when you repent of your sins, asking God to forgive you, and if you’re really sincere He will wipe away all of your sins. Then, you ask Jesus to take over your life and be your boss. Then God’s Word, The Bible, will begin to be more understandable to you.

      Next, get yourself a modern translation of The Bible. I recommend The New International Version. It’s the one I use. It’s much easier to read and understand than the KJV. I hope this was helpful, Maple. Let me know I can be of further service to you again.


    • Sorry I took so long to respond, Maple. Thanks for your comment. It means a lot to me when readers comment on my posts. The biggest enemy we’ve is our sinful nature. Paul went through the same type of struggle as we do. Look at Romans 7

      14We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

      21So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
      So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful natured a slave to the law of sin.

      Maple, it’s only through power of Christ that we can get a handle in The evil “I”. Blessing!


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    Liked by 1 person

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