While reading the Free Press the other day, I came across an interesting article about Charlie Sheen. Apparently he’s refusing to go back to work until he gets paid 3 million per episode of the TV show he’s in, instead of only 1.5 million – because, he says, “I’m tired of pretending that I’m not special.”
I sat there reading that article and feeling disgusted, but at the same time, that quote stuck out as being so disturbing, yet honest. Who actually comes right out and says stuff like that? Apparently Charlie Sheen does…
And yet, as surprising as it is for him to say that, isn’t it kind of a common feeling, even if you’re not a movie star like Charlie Sheen? Everyone knows you don’t say that out loud, and most people wouldn’t even form such words in their minds, but how different is it from saying, “I’m so tired of being unappreciated,” or “Nobody ever notices what I do”?
It’s like all of us have this desire, deep down, to be noticed, valued, to be special.
And we go around doing our thing, but aren’t there always times when we wish that someone would notice, appreciate, encourage, and acknowledge…our specialness?
I’ve seen adults who learn to hide it, kids who actually verbally beg to be noticed, and teenagers who use their behavior to command the world to notice. And I find it interesting how society is choosing to respond to that. These days, we must go out of our way to make people feel special.
As a parent, I’m noticing it even more. It’s being hammered into little girls’ heads that they are princesses, and that they’re so special, they’re on the same level as royalty.
And some Christians take it a step further, and say, “It really is true – you are a princess!! God is a King, and you are His child, and so that makes you a princess FOR REAL!”
So then what? Notice me, make me feel special, treat me like I’m important, worship me!
“I’m tired of pretending I’m not special.”
I have a couple of thoughts…
Let me start by saying that we are all made in God’s image. Do we need anymore affirmation than that?
And then let me follow that by saying that yes, sometimes I do! I often find myself sliding into the “I feel so unappreciated!” pit. I have not conquered this, but I’m starting to see how harmful and wrong it is.
Yes, God is our King, but it seems to me like that should put the emphasis on worshiping Him and being in awe of Him, rather than twisting the whole idea of “royalty” to make ourselves feel all lifted up and put on a pedestal. We are special, and God does love us, but it goes so far beyond our worldly idea of royalty and importance and worth. I don’t think His “kingdom” will have much to do with princesses in pink dresses who get whatever they want, but sometimes, that really is the image that is being portrayed to little girls. (Ever seen “Gigi, God’s Little Princess”? It teaches some great things, but the whole princess thing is a little hard for me to swallow.) And when those little girls grow up, what kind of view will they have of what it means to be God’s child?
Sometimes I get really frustrated with myself for ever sitting around, desiring more appreciation and verbal feeding of the ego. Why does it even matter if I’m special at all? If my gaze is firmly fixed on Jesus, that’s all that should fill my mind. I would do everything for Him and with Him, and I would forget myself and my own pathetic need to be noticed and appreciated, because it would all just be….Jesus.
I’ve always loved the fact that when Jesus washes His disciples’ feet, John writes that he did it because he knew who he was, and where he was going.
“Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal…” and washed the feet of His disciples. (John 13:3)
He was so secure in His purpose and identity that He didn’t have to prove anything. He could care for other people without being concerned about His own needs, because they were completely and fully met.
So really, it should have nothing to do with “pretending that I’m not special.” Our personal ratings of “specialness” are completely removed because none of that matters.
Doesn’t that sound very freeing?
If you want to listen to some fantastic messages on this topic, check out Bruxy Cavey’s “Get Over Yourself” series here. You’ll need to scroll down to the messages from November, 2009. But it’s definitely worth that little bit of effort!