“Jake doesn’t put up with any of this!”
My new roommate, Jake, was dictating his likes and dislikes to me. We had met a few days earlier, introduced by a mutual acquaintance. He wanted to make quite sure I knew where he stood on potential areas of conflict.
“Jake doesn’t like people who make a lot of noise before 6 AM.”
Got it. The litany continued.
“I have had to live through a lot. Jake is a survivor!”
What did that mean? I pushed him for an explanation but the only reply was, “Jake is a survivor!”
Within a month, Jake moved out. Paul was apparently hindering his survival.
Why do I find conversations like this so annoying? Is it because of the additional effort it takes to reorient my impression that the person is actually referring to himself rather than another? Is it because this person’s self-esteem is so low that the only way to garner recognition is to reference themselves in the third person? Is it because the use of the term survivor is a blanket expression to elicit respect from any listener? Whatever the reason, referring to oneself in the third person definitely arrests my attention, but for the wrong reasons.
And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
John 17:3 (ESV)
It is ironic that as annoying as this example was of my ex-roommate referring to himself in the third person, Jesus Christ also did this on several occasions. It certainly caught my attention but in contrast to my ex-roomate, it does not annoy me. In every instance when Jesus referred to Himself in the third person, He was directing the audience’s attention away from Himself and toward God, the Father. He was fulfilling God’s mission for His life by being obedient to death on the Cross and His resurrection.
Referring to oneself in the third person definitely arrests my attention and when God does it, it is for the right reason. Thanks be to God that many years ago, He did so and I responded by confessing and repenting of my sins and accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior!
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.