Faith and “It’s not about Me”

For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Matthew 16:25 ESV.

It’s been a busy week in my life… and I am sure I am not alone! The good news is that most of the busyness was for good things. Planning and prepping for a baby shower, studying for our School of Ministry class, attending our church’s team appreciation dinner, helping my sister and mailing off some of my books—squeezing in a dental cleaning as well! But, the Saturday before this busy week—my thoughts and emotions were a bit jumbled. Anyone else get overwhelmed?

As I was praying and trying to sort out my thoughts and these emotions, a very quiet voice spoke to me, “it’s not about you”. Oh, yes, Lord. It isn’t. It is about You and Your people. I found myself taking a deep breath and letting the anxious anticipation of the week go. When things become all about ourselves, we get muddled, anxious, and stressed. There is usually an element of pride that comes in and the peace of God disappears. When it becomes “all about me, “, not only do we lose our peace, but our joy as well.

This isn’t always a “one and done” type of thing. I usually have to keep reminding myself a few times, before it changes my perspective. Currently, I’m reading through the book of James. He has some good things to say: If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. James 3:13 NLT. As I meditated on that scripture, I realized how pride can so subtly sneak in and become our motivation. Then I read further, But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. James 3:14-15. Ouch. If we are to walk in God’s wisdom, we must examine our own hearts. Who wants to admit they might be bitterly jealous or have selfish ambition? But they both could lurk in our sinful hearts. But our dear brother James does not stop there—He says: For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual and demonic. James 3: 15. Another ouch! If we want to be useful to God’s kingdom, we must walk in His wisdom, which we know is higher than ours! He speaks plainly. It is definitely humbling to admit that not only is my wisdom earthly, but unspiritual and demonic? Yikes… sort of scary.

But then there is more! For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. James 3:16 Oh my, it opens the door to disorder and evil of every kind. That doesn’t sound productive, does it? It doesn’t just affect me, but others, too. Oh, Father, please help us.

Bless James, there is more. He tells us about the positive. But the wisdom from above is, first of all, pure. It is also peace-loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness. James 3:17-18. NLT. Isn’t this what we want? To plant sees of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness? When we lay down our own ways and pick up His ways, we can’t help but produce those kinds of fruit. There are many other scriptures that deal with bitterness, selfish ambition and lying. I think God is serious about this stuff. We need to take heed of them if we want to bear much fruit. They should not be a part of our life, but it is a process, isn’t it? This really is a serious aspect of our walk with the Lord. Letting Him work in our character so we understand that it really isn’t “all about me”.

Father, thank you that you work in and through imperfect people, but you don’t want to stop there. We want to agree with James 1:4, and let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. Thank you for working in us both to will and do your perfect will. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.