August 30

Written by Bill Grandi on August 30th, 2023

When Benjamin Franklin wrote Poor Richard’s Almanac he passed along some very wise thoughts. One of them I thought of today was “People who are wrapped up in themselves make small packages.”

What does that mean? Actually, it isn’t hard to figure out. People who are very self-absorbed, and perhaps even narcissistic, really do not have much to offer others. They may think they do (thus the nature of their disease), but they fail.  Contrast that to someone who is focused and concerned about others, who take an interest in people and life beyond themselves.

I think we all know self-absorbed people. You walk away from them feeling invisible. They didn’t care how much you were hurting, seeking a friend to listen, or just to be “there.” Nope. It was all about them. Self-centered people are just that: SELF. CENTERED.

I thought of that this morning (and hence the Franklin quote) as I read Proverbs 30. The chapter is filled with one or two verses (sometimes more) of pithy sayings, often bound together. For example, verses 12-13 say, “There is a kind who is pure in his own eyes, yet is not washed from his filthiness. There is a kind-oh how lofty are his eyes! And his eyelids are raised in arrogance.” (NASB2020) What an ugly picture that gives us. This is a picture of a self-absorbed person! They can’t see themselves for what and who they are. They can’t even see beyond their own nose.

That is just one of the reasons “Follow your heart” is not a good philosophy to live by. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful about all things, and desperately sick (wicked); who can understand it?” (ESV)  I’ll let that stand on it own merit.

Focusing inward makes for a very small package. Thank you Benjamin Franklin. It makes for a very myopic view.  Thank you writer of Proverbs 30. So…stop gazing at your navel and start seeing others.


10 Comments so far ↓

  1. Ed says:

    I don’t know.. my navel is pretty much hanging out there.. hard not to notice.


    I try my best to reach out to others, but sometimes I wonder if others have their heads up their navel.

    I mean, there’s always that one….

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Sadly, even if we do reach out there are those who (that one) who is only interested in themselves. Thanks for the comment Ed. You are up early considering you are one Las Vegas time. zzzz

  2. It’s all too easy to focus on our own needs instead of reaching out with genuine love to those in who are hurting. May I not be one of them!
    Blessings, Bill!

  3. gail says:

    Great point Bill. I believe that all sin starts with some form of pride, and all pride starts with some sort of being self centered. Your heart and feelings will misguide you, they will lead you to thinking about yourself first. Keeping God first in your life will keep your feelings and heart aligned with Him. Where we focus and who we focus on, changes everything. Getting that right, all the time, is something that we cannot do, the more we lean on God, the better we understand His point of view.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Pride most definitely is a real issue for many Gail. it starts with “follow your heart” and moves on from there. You are right in that we can expect to not always get it right.

  4. Ryan S. says:

    Pride gets in the way of a lot of progress in many areas of life. I think many of arguments would be subdued if pride were left out. I think much healing could come if pride were removed from the equation.

  5. Cheryl says:

    Whew! This hit a raw nerve this morning, as I am dealing with a very narcissistic person who repeatedly hurts my feelings & makes me feel invisible, in spite of my many efforts to support, encourage, & befriend them. It’s hard on my family because they love me so much and don’t like to see me abused. So, what to do? I have no clue. I am seeking the Lord very earnestly about when enough is enough. I don’t want to pull away until He says it’s time. Lord, help me.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Knowing when to pull away is tough Cheryl. I’m not sure if you will come back to see my response but i found a book by Gary Thomas to be helpful. It is titled “When to Walk Away.” It is subtitled Finding Freedom from Toxic People.” If you would like to borrow it, I will be glad to send it. You can email me personally.