I saw an interesting bumper sticker this week. It said simply, “It’s all about me!” I thought to myself, “Really? That’s the one statement you want to make to the world?” Of all the things that person could have taken a stand for by their bumper sticker choice such as political endorsements or a love for a certain cause, they chose to announce their selfishness? I rolled my eyes and kept on driving.
But as I drove I began to feel the gentle tug of the Holy Spirit on my heart. And while I don’t have the bumper sticker to prove it, I was faced with the fact that all to often, I live like it’s all about me.
By all appearances, I’m a giver. I partner with my husband in student ministry. As a wife and a mom, I spend a great deal of my time taking care of the needs of others. I volunteer in the nursery at my church. But I also spend a lot of time thinking and talking about my time, my needs, my plans, and what I want.
The fact is, most of the time I really want things to go my way, and when they don’t I usually get pretty bent out of shape.
This is especially evident when I examine my prayer life. If I am being honest, I have to admit that most of the time I want God to do things my way and in my timing. I don’t want my sanctification to require suffering. I don’t want His plans for my life to be different from my plans. Too often, I live like I believe the lie “it’s all about me.”
God’s Truth on this subject stands in stark contrast to my selfishness. The reality is it’s not about me; it’s all about Him.
Colossians 1:16-17 says, “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
Revelation 4:11 says, “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”
In Lies Young Women Believe, Nancy and Dannah sum those verses up this way.
“The world was not created to revolve around us. The entire universe was created to revolve around Christ. If our goal in life is to be happy or accepted or loved, than anything that threatens our well-being will be an enemy—an obstacle to fulfilling our objective” (Lies Young Women Believe, 194).
Ouch! This hits me like a two by four between the eyes! Too often I live like my goal in life is to be happy and accepted and I certainly react when that goal is threatened. This can lead to bondage. If my ultimate goal is to be happy, I quickly become enslaved to whatever provides that momentary happiness. But, if I recognize God as the center (instead of myself) I find freedom.
“On the other hand, once we agree with God that we exist for His pleasure and His glory, we can accept whatever comes into our lives as part of His sovereign will and purpose. We will not resent, resist, or reject the ‘hard things,’ but embrace them as ‘friends,’ designed by God to makes us like Jesus and to bring glory to Himself” (Lies Young Women Believe, 194).
And there’s more. Beyond realizing that Christ is the center, the Bible calls us to place the needs of the people around us above our own.
Philippians 2:3-4 says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
Not only are we not the center of the universe, we are pretty low on the totem pole. We are to live in a way that demonstrates that Christ and His will is the most important thing, followed by the needs of others. There’s not much room for selfishness in that pecking order.
So, I’m thinking about investing in a new bumper sticker that goes a little something like this: “It’s all about Jesus, and my parents, and my siblings, and my friends, and my pastor, and my co-workers, and my classmates, and my neighbors, and…well, you get the idea.”
What about you? Are you living in such a way that communicates that your world revolves around Christ and others? Or are there pockets of selfishness that announce, “it’s all about me?” Do you find it difficult to surrender your way to the plans of God or the needs of others? What are some practical ways you can live out this truth this week?