Fear of Being Outside the “Inner Ring”

From Andree Seu’s essay

“Be Somebody”…

“When you don’t have an internal sense of Self, you need an external–and a constant supply of it.  You’re condemned to roam the earth a parasite…We are all in need of a Self, of being somebody with respect to an outside source of approval…No one is ultimate enough in himself to be his own final integration point.”

“In 1944 C.S. Lewis gave the Memorial Lecture at the University of London’s King College…he warned against desiring to be in “the inner ring.”…(saying) I believe that in all men’s lives at certain periods, and in many men’s lives at all periods…, one of the most dominant elements is the desire to be inside the local ring and the terror of being left outside.”  Lewis adds, “Unless you take measures to prevent it, this desire is going to be one of the chief motives of your life…Any other kind of life, if you lead it, will be the result of a conscious and continuous effort.”

“…Perhaps all lusts are corruptions of good desires.  Before “sin, the flesh, and the devil” got a hold of us in Eden, we desired (and we had) sweet intimacy with the Lord–and because of that, with each other.  His love, and the assurance of it, were the wellspring from which to bathe our neighbors in nurturing, the hub of solid soul from which spokes of ministry and not manipulation emanated.”

“Acceptance is tendered: ‘I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it’ (Revelation 2:17).  My soul, find yourself in Jesus and be free.”

I love this… “My soul, find yourself in Jesus and be free.”

*photo credit

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  1. This was really good. Thanks for sharing!

  2. My pastor said something in his homily that I think people really need to hear the other day. He said, “I honestly can never understand why so many people go to a psychologist or others so they can be told over and over that they are a good person. Not only are you a good person you’re a beautiful person.

    “You were made in Gods image.

  3. Wonderful! And very convicting…

    How important to teach this to our children, too, when they’re young. They watch and they know what fuels us and motivates us. May we teach them to find their contentment in Christ alone.

    Thanks for this, Kara!

  4. Trisha–agree completely. I know I’m sending messages to them all the time….even when I don’t mean to or even want to be. That’s why fear is such a battle for me. When I show fear and anxiety I know I’m broadcasting…God is not trustworthy…He is not in control. That’s so NOT what I want to communicate.

    Jen–through Christ we can be content with who were are…we know we are loved by Him, valued enough that He died for us. On the flip side…I’m fully aware that without Him…I’m a mess. Even my outward good actions often come from a place of pride or selfishness. But you’re right–finding our validiation outside of Christ, looking for it in others, will never truly satisfy….and shouldn’t be where we go to find our worth.

    Thanks for processing this with me :)

  5. “My soul, find yourself in Jesus and be free” is a beautiful quote. That is a keeper for me. Is that directly from Andree Seu?
    My counselor use to tell me that I can’t compare my internals to others’ externals, because I will always come up short. I have found that to be very true. Only Jesus can deal with my internals, and it truly be effective and freeing.

  6. Yes…that’s Andree Seu…she’s one of my all-time favorites. I kept this essay from an old World Magazine edition, but then just ran across it again in one of her essay collections…

Would love to hear your thoughts...