It’s Not About Me

I’ve got a secret that can keep rivers of tears from being shed in 2014. It can stop angry outbursts in their tracks. It can put an end to stewing, sniveling, and navel-gazing. It is a secret that can insulate you from so much in the year ahead.

Are you ready for it?

It’s not about you.

The purpose of my life (and yours!) is not personal comfort or happiness.

I know you were probably hoping for something that sounded more like a Hallmark card. I feel the same way. I love ideas that give me warm fuzzies, but most of the time the stuff that makes me feel good simply strokes my ever-craving ego. I may crave applause, but the Truth is, a life lived like I’m the center of the universe ultimately misses God’s mark. I’ve been a Christian long enough to learn that my focus should not be on myself, but I need daily, hourly, minute-by-minute reminders that I am not the axis upon which all things rotate. The world wasn’t designed to revolve around me.

The purpose of my life (and yours!) is not personal comfort or happiness. Our actions should not be motivated by the applause of others. We were not created to steal the limelight for ourselves.

God’s Word provides bedrock truth we can come back to over and over when seeking to define our purpose.

As one of billions of people on one planet in one solar system in one of many galaxies, we naturally search for significance. Self-help books tell us to find the answer within ourselves, but those books miss something huge. The current culture tells us we matter if we get “likes,” “followers,” and “re-tweets,” but ultimately that’s a leaky well, too.

God’s Word provides bedrock truth we can come back to over and over when seeking to define our purpose.

Isaiah 43:7 describes the people of God and says, “Everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”

Read that passage backward. You were made and formed by God. Why? For His glory.

This point was powerfully hit home for me several years ago as I studied Revelation 4:2-11. (It’s a long passage, but don’t race through it! It’s worth the time investment).

“At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne. And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal . . .

And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

‘Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they existed and were created.’

Only God is worthy to receive glory, and honor, and power. He created all things, after all. By His will all things exist.

As I peek into the throne room in this passage these questions bubble up in my heart:
Erin, where are you discussed in this passage?

  • Where is your throne?
  • Where is your crown?
  • Who is worshiping you?

I’m not even in the throne room! I’m not the center of attention. Yes, I am an adopted daughter of the king, but God is the one who is really on the throne.

When I forget this truth, anything that threatens my personal happiness will cause me to bristle. Why? Because so often “self” becomes my idol. I want to be served and over and over again I claw my way onto the throne only God is fit to sit on. Because of this, my cravings for attention, if left unchecked, simply leave me feeling undervalued, unappreciated, and taken for granted. That’s when the tears flow. Or the angry outbursts start. Or the jealousy takes root. Or I start comparing myself to others endlessly. I take everything personally. I fret. I snap. I whine.

The secret to feeling better about myself is to get over myself.

God has a way of turning things upside down. The secret to feeling better about myself is to get over myself. It’s a quality the Bible defines as humility.

I’ve often heard it said that humility is not thinking less of ourselves, but rather thinking of ourselves less. That sounds like a worthy New Year’s resolution to me! But let’s face it, true humility is impossible in our own strength. We need Jesus, who modeled consistent, radical humility and then called us to it to equip us to turn our thoughts toward Him and others. Ultimately, the fact that life is not all about me is very good news. It frees me to fix my eyes on the One through whom all things were made.

Jesus, turn our eyes and hearts toward you this year. Teach us true humility. Help us to live in a way that points others toward you. Amen.