Mini Me

Mini MeThere’s a little me who’s been hanging around for as long as I can remember. A Mini-me has been talking to me every day for my entire life.

Mini-me is constantly preoccupied with himself. He is always seeking to arrange for his own comfort and security while trying to maintain a makeshift wall of protection around his ego. But he’s terrible at it. Even when he’s almost convinced that he might be pulling it off, he suffers a nagging sense of inadequacy.

He clutches a tiny idol of approval. Sometimes he just cowers in front of it, frozen in a fearful paralysis. Sometimes he toils for it in slavish devotion. But Mini-me’s little god is a tyrant who is never satisfied.

“You’re not good enough. You’ll never be good enough. But keep trying.”

Mini-me seeks his identity in approval communities whose members serve as messengers for the little god he clutches in his hand. Through them the idol communicates his verdict.

“You’re not good enough. You’ll never be good enough. But keep trying.”

For a long time, Mini-me operated under the radar of my perception, and so my little self was my dominant self for decades. That is to say, Mini Me has been mostly me for much of my life.

Mini-me caused a lot of confusion in my heart as to my true identity. The enemy told me that Mini-Me was the real me. I would always be insufficient, inadequate, and unacceptable. God told me I was already received and secure, accepted and loved. But who was I, really?

God must have wanted to settle the matter because He dismantled my life and flushed my little self out into the open. The Spirit threw a floodlight on Mini-me. Now I could get a good look at him and clearly identify the tiny idol he was clinging to. I also spotted the enemy’s shadowy figure hiding behind Mini-me.

And the question of identity was finally settled.

“I am already accepted. I don’t have to be good enough. I can stop trying.”

That was the beginning of the end of the dominance of my little self. Mini-me isn’t going away quietly, but he’s going. He sometimes still makes a big fuss, but I recognize him now. So, whenever I see him, I hand him his hat and show him the door.

How about you?

[I borrowed the imagery of the little self from David Robert Anderson’s book, Losing Your Faith, Finding Your Soul]

13 thoughts on “Mini Me

  1. Wow, Dave. What a great way to describe how and where we find our identities. I think your Mini-me and my Mini-me must have gone to the same identity-crushing school. Because I’ve dealt with many of the same issues. Even though I’ve become much more comfortable with who God wants me to be, and with remembering my identity is who He says I am in Him, I still have to plug my ears to my MIni-me’s words and worries sometimes. Or I have to remember the truths of what God says about me. I am cherished by Him. He delights in me. He loves me. And that is enough.

  2. Ah, Mini Me … yeah, she’s way too talkative, thinks way too much of herself … and in the past, had way too much control in my life. But in recent years, I’ve managed to tell her to “stuff a sock in it” — and let God’s voice have authority in my life. Mini Me doesn’t like … but tough!

  3. Jeanne, I just checked my yearbook and confirmed that we were classmates at I.C.University 🙂 I’m glad we both dropped out. I know what you are saying. The little self doesn’t go quietly. We all suffer from spiritual forgetfulness.and we all have those experiences that seem to trigger a speech from Mini-me who still tries to tell us who we are. That’s why I am glad that we are now enrolled together in New Self University so we can learn in community how to live from our new selves in Christ!

  4. “Keep on trying” has been the story of my life. During one of my particularly intense bouts, a friend said, “You know, you don’t have to try so hard.” I burst into tears and cried and cried while she apologized over and over. I couldn’t stop crying long enough to tell her that what she said was a reassuring and good thing. t wish she could have lived on my shoulder like Jiminy Cricket.

    Thank you for being one of the voices of sanity and serenity in my life … can you come back each day and remind me of this? Although, I have to say, getting older and tired are helping a lot.

    • Thank you for sharing that powerful episode from the story of your life. It illustrates so well the tyranny we submit to when we try to live from a false identity. It’s so utterly exhausting. My soul’s response to ” you’re not good enough” was to duck challenges and avoid risk. “Don’t even try. You’ll just embarrass yourself. Then everyone will know you’re not good enough.” I was exhausted–not from trying to achieve–but staggering under the heavy oppression of continual self-condemnation.
      As for Jiminy Cricket, it would probably be uncomfortable for you if I stood on your shoulder, but as often as I can I’ll remind you that you are received, accepted, approved and loved in Jesus Christ.
      And you are a great encouragement to me.
      Thanks, Kim. I appreciate you.

  5. The last couple of years have been, well, crappy, and presented ample opportunities for Mini-Me to come roaring out of the sewer.

    I have a way of putting him in his place. Might not work for everyone, but it does work for me:

    1) It’s not likely that anyone will try to kill me today.
    2) Today I probably won’t have to bury parts of people I knew.
    3) I probably won’t need to kill anyone today.

    He hasn’t found an answer to this rather unholy trinity, and skulks back to his odious lair.

    • I like your 3-point plan and your imagery.of the conflict. The serpent knows our particular vulnerabilities and is ruthless in attacking at those places. But I can see that you recognize the enemy’s strategies against you and that you are alert to his movements. He prefers to work in the shadows, under the cover of darkness. When he is exposed, he skulks back to his lair, waiting for his next opportunity. Thanks, Andrew, for sharing your personal encounters with the sewer rat, Mini-me.

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